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HE Romans knew how to cause the 
parted floods to measure their plain with 
the strong, steady, and level flight of 
arches from the watersheds in the hills 
to the arid city; and having the waters 
captive, they knew how to compel them to take part, 
by fountains, in this Roman triumph. They had the wit 
to boast thus of their brilliant prisoner. 

None more splendid came bound to Rome, or graced 
captivity with a more invincible liberty of the heart. 
And the captivity and the leap of the heart of the wa' 
ters have outlived their captors. They have remained 
in Rome, and have remained alone. Over them the vie 
tory was longer than empire, and their thousands of 
loud voices have never ceased to confess the conquest 
of the cold floods, separated long ago, drawn one by one, 
alive, to the head and front of the world. 

Of such a transit is made no secret. It was the most 
manifest fad: of Rome. You could not look to the city 
from the mountains or to the distance from the city 
without seeing the approach of those perpetual waters 
— waters bound upon daily tasks and minute services. 

— Mrs. Meynell. 

'AN Francisco ^Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 


X (o 2.8. J -r 

.Spass — 

Volume IV 

January, 1925 


Spring Valley and Hetch Hetchy 

Bx S. P. East man , President 

FOR a clear understanding of what has 
recently happened between Spring Val- 
ley and the city of San Francisco in rela- 
tion to the Hetch Hetchy project, it is neces- 
sary to review certain steps taken before the 
program of co-operation between the city and 
the Company was made possible by the Rail- 
road Commission. 

In 19 10 the electors of the City and 
County of San Francisco authorized the crea- 
tion of a bonded indebtedness of $45,000,000 
to build the Hetch Hetchy water supply for 
San Francisco. 

With the funds available vigorous con- 
struction work was undertaken, as well as the 
development of complete geological and en- 
gineering data for the formulation of ade- 
quate and final engineering plans for actual 
construction. The Raker Bill, granting to 
the city its rights for reservoir purposes at 
Hetch Hetchy and Lake Eleanor, made it 
mandatory that the city develop the hydro- 
electric power which would be, in large part, 
the natural by-product of the Hetch Hetchy 
water-supply development. This was urged 
by the then Secretary of the Interior on the 
principle that such development would pro- 
portionately reduce the use of, and thereby 
conserve, fuel oil in California, to which 
policy the Federal Government was strongly 

With complete engineering data available, 
and with the added burden of hydro-electric 
development as imposed by the Raker Bill, 
it became necessary, as well as advisable 
from the civic and the engineering point of 
view, to modify and extend the technical and 
physical plans for Hetch Hetchy develop- 

ment. This was done, and the revised con- 
ception and plans of the project were au- 
thorized by the legislative body of the city 
government, the Board of Supervisors. 

Both the power and the water units of the 
project have been under vigorous prosecution 
since the fall of 19 14, and were carried 
through the War period with its attendant 
high costs until November, 1924, when it 
appeared that all of the originally authorized 
fund of $45,000,000 had been expended on 
the works. On October 7, 1924, the electors, 
by a vote of approximately five to one, au- 
thorized an additional bonded indebtedness 
of $10,000,000, to be available only after 
January 1, 1925, for the construction of ad- 
ditional portions of the power and water 
units of the project, which construction was 
specifically defined and limited in the au- 
thorization of the bonds. While all of the 
principal sum of $45,000,000 had been ex- 
hausted, the sum of $660,000 stood to the 
credit of the Hetch Hetchy Operative Fund. 
However, the legislative and executive 
branches of the city government were advised 
that this fund could not be devoted to the 
continuance of the very important work un- 
der way. 

Various solutions of the dilemma were 
offered, and while they seemed feasible un- 
der practical consideration of the problem, 
they nevertheless, in the view of the City 
Attorney, failed to come within the legal 
limitations of the city's charter. The ultimate 
alternative appeared to be the necessity of 
holding a special bond election to authorize 
$1,000,000 of bonds for the continuation of 

(Continued on Page 16) 


January, 1925 

Calaveras Is l^eady 

By George A. Elliott, Chief Engineer 

ALL of the construction work necessary 
l\. for the development of an additional 
twenty-four million gallons of water daily, 
commenced in 192 1 by Spring Valley Water 
Company in compliance with the order of the 
Railroad Commission and the agreement 
with the city of San Francisco, is now prac- 
tically completed. 

The Water Company's part in the develop- 
ment consisted of the construction of the 
Calaveras Dam to a height sufficient to sup- 
ply the necessary amount of water, the build- 
ing of an aqueduct from Sunol to Niles, a 
regulating reservoir at Niles, and a pipe-line 
from Niles to Irvington to connect with the 
Bay Division pipe of the Hetch Hetchy line 
now under construction by the city between 
Irvington and Crystal Springs Reservoir. 

The completion of the dam marks the 
termination of an era in the history of the 
project which extends over a period of more 
than fifty years. 

It was in 1875 tnat Calaveras Reservoir 
was first suggested as a source of supply for 
San Francisco. At that time it was advocated 
by an engineer named Scowden, who had 

been employed by the city of San Francisco 
to investigate and report on the best source 
of water supply for the city. Considerable 
opposition developed and the project was 
dropped. Thereafter the Company began the 
acquisition of the reservoir lands. 

In 1886 the first explorations were made 
to determine the best location for a dam. At 
various times thereafter these explorations 
were continued until in 1906 plans and 
specifications were prepared for the con- 
struction of a dam 150 feet high just below 
the site of the present structure. 

The earthquake and fire of April, 1906, 
necessitated the postponement of this work, 
and it was not until 19 13 that the actual 
work of building the dam was commenced. 

In the meantime further explorations had 
indicated that the best possible dam-site of 
the six that had been investigated was what 
is known as the upper dam-site, and that the 
type of dam best adapted to the location was 
one constructed of earth. Following the com- 
mencement of construction in 19 13, work has 
been prosecuted continuously at varying rates 
of speed until completion in December, 1924. 

Before Calaveras Reservoir existed. The huge Spr 
Valley. This picture was taken 

; Valley dam now spans this outlet of beautiful Calaveras 
workmen began clearing the valley floor 

January, 1925 


FROM a battlefield where Indian braves slaughtered one another in a great 
and bloody conflict, to an artificial lake impounding billions of gallons of 
water for San Francisco — that is the history of the Calaveras Reservoir of 
Spring Valley Water Company. 

A tradition older than California history has perpetuated the fact, but not 
the details, of that Indian battle. When numerous human bones were found on 
the old battlefield — grim relics of the ancient fight — the valley was named 
Calaveras, or "Skulls." 

As it stands today, the dam is 2 15 feet high 
above bed-rock at the center, and contains 
2,700,000 cubic yards of fill. It will store 
32,780 million gallons. In other words, it 
has just about double the storage capacity 
of all of the Peninsula reservoirs. When the 
reservoir is full the area of the water surface 
is over 1400 acres. 

In preparing plans for the structure, it was 
kept in mind that ultimately the dam will be 
thirty-five feet higher than its present height, 
and provision was made for this additional 
height by leaving two benches, or berms, 
about thirty-five feet lower than the existing 

To raise the dam to its ultimate height of 
250 feet it will be necessary to commence 
work at some time when the water surface of 
the lake is lower than the benches and from 
this point continue the structure by the dep- 
osition of material in the same way that has 
been followed in the present construction. It 
will require about 300,000 cubic yards of 
material to do this work. 

Simultaneously, a tunnel about 10,000 feet 
long will be driven through the ridge which 
separates Calaveras Reservoir from Upper 
Alameda Creek, and the waters of this creek 
will be diverted into the reservoir. When this 
is done, the reservoir capacity will be in the 

S^rninV^ "7f m£ 1 1 iTai 

**^: I III Ml **" 

lie white streak climbing up and down the hillside outlines the cor 

Calaveras dam-site looking east, before any fill 

his is a view of 


January, 1925 

THE name "Calaveras" immediately suggests to Californians the Mother 
Lode country, where Mark Twain discovered the jumping frog that made 
him famous. 

The Calaveras Reservoir of Spring Valley Water Company, an integral part 
of San Francisco's water-supply system, has nothing to do with Calaveras 
County in the Sierra foothills. It is the Coast Range Calaveras. 

neighborhood of 50,000 million gallons and 
its daily productivity about fifty million 

The type of construction adopted was a 
rolled clay core supported on both sides by 
loosely placed rocky material. The work of 
placing this material in the dam was done 
by Palmer & McBryde, contractors. Heavy 
equipment was necessary, and at times four 
steam-shovels were in simultaneous use, the 
largest of which was capable of excavating 
two and one-half cubic yards of earth with 
a single motion of the dipper. To transport 
the excavated material to the dam, two trains 
composed of four (and sometimes five) 
twelve-cubic-yard cars were used, as well as 
a large number of five-yard auto trucks. 

All other work in connection with the con- 

struction of the dam was handled directly by 
the Company forces in charge of T. W. Espy, 
Construction Engineer, who also supervised 
the work of the contractors. 

The spillway, which will carry the surplus 
waters safely past the dam when the reser- 
voir is full, is 1450 feet long and will carry 
20,000 cubic feet of water per second. It in- 
volved the excavation of about 200,000 cubic 
yards and is lined with 6000 cubic yards of 
reinforced concrete. 

The outlet works consist of a concrete- 
lined shaft surmounted by a tower, from 
which a tunnel leads to the creek channel be- 
low the dam. Water is admitted into the out- 
let tower from the reservoir at five different 
elevations, all of which are controlled by 

'0^^^m^^' ^ 

Spring Valley's Calaveras dam-site again. Here the workers are excavating to bedrock 
through the overburden of gravel 

January, 1925 


THE Calaveras Reservoir is an artificial lake in a beautiful region of Ala- 
meda and Santa Clara counties, midway between Niles Canyon and Mount 

It impounds the water of a number of streams that flow down the gorges of 
the Coast Range in the general direction of Niles Canyon. Two of these streams, 
Smith and Isabel creeks, after circling Mount Hamilton, unite to form the 
Arroyo Hondo, which flows through Calaveras Valley. 

The early rains of the present season have 
already been effective in starting stream-flow 
into the reservoir, and it is quite probable 
that when this is being read the water will be 
rising behind the dam. 

The gates have been closed and everything 
is in readiness to utilize the full storage ca- 
pacity up to the spillway. 

For the first few years of its use the water, 
after passing through the outlet of the dam, 
will flow down Alameda Creek to Sunol, 
where it will be diverted through the subter- 
ranean infiltration galleries into the Sunol- 
Niles Aqueduct. 

This aqueduct, as it stands today, was 
part of the construction necessary for the 
transmission of the additional water de- 
veloped by the building of Calaveras Dam. 

Formerly the aqueduct, which is five miles 
long, consisted in equal parts of concrete- 
lined tunnels large enough to carry seventy 
million gallons of water daily and a wood 
flume which could transport about thirty 
million gallons of water per day. During the 
summer of 1923 the wood flume was replaced 
with a concrete conduit with a capacity of 
seventy million gallons daily, so that at pres- 
ent the entire transmission system as far as 
Niles will carry not only the forty-five 
million gallons demanded under the terms of 
the arrangement with the city, but also 
twenty-five million gallons daily in addi- 
tion, thereby providing space for future de- 
velopment of the Alameda sources. 

At the terminus of the aqueduct near Niles 
a concrete-lined reservoir has just been com- 

Calaveras Dam becomes 

,312,000 cubic yards of material in pla 
nuary, 1924 


January, 1925 

IN 1809 the ownership of Calaveras Valley in the Coast Range hills, midway 
between Niles Canyon and Mount Hamilton, was in lively dispute between 
the Pueblo of San Jose and the Mission of Santa Clara. 

"What was the end of the dispute," says an historian, "we have been unable 
to discover, but it seems likeliest that La Calaveras belonged rather to the 
Mission San Jose." 

It was a long time after that dispute that Calaveras became a part of the 
water supply of San Francisco. The valley, together with tributary watershed 
area, was acquired by Spring Valley in 1875. 

It was a wise foresight, not generally appreciated at the time, that prompted 
Spring Valley to acquire this property. 

pleted. This reservoir is of the "cut-and-fill" 
type, the excavated earth being used to form 
the banks of the basin upon which the con- 
crete lining is laid. It has a capacity of five 
million gallons, with space for the construc- 
tion of a duplicate unit at one end. The pur- 
pose of the reservoir is to balance the flow 
between the aqueduct and the pipe-line which 
commences at this point. Should the aqueduct 
carry more water than is required to fill the 
pipe, the surplus goes into storage in the 

reservoir, and if the reverse is true, the reser- 
voir supplies the deficiency. The Niles Reser- 
voir was finished some time ago and is now 
in operation. 

From Niles Reservoir to Irvington a forty- 
four-inch riveted pipe-line about 16,000 feet 
long was laid parallel to the Western Pacific 

This pipe-line connects with the pipe 
which is now being constructed by the city 
of San Francisco. It was built under a con- 

Spring Valley's Calaveras Dam approaches completion. When this picture was taken, at the 
beginning of December, 1924, there were 2,677,000 cubic yards of material in place 

January, 1925 


v I V HE foresight of the Company throughout its history has been rather re- 
_L markable. For example, as early as i860, when San Francisco had only 
sixty thousand people, rights were acquired on the peninsula at Pilar citos; and 
in 1875 lands were bought in Calaveras Valley, in Alameda County. The system 
has expanded, unit by unit, as the need arose." 

— The Master in Chancery, Spring Valley Water Company Rati 

tract by the Western Pipe and Steel Com- 
pany of California, the same firm that con- 
structed the Bay Division pipe of the Hetch 
Hetchy Aqueduct between Irvington and 
Crystal Springs Reservoir. 

The location of the line on the Western 
Pacific Railroad right-of-way proved to be a 
great aid in its construction. Ordinarily it 
is necessary to ship pipe of this character by 
railroad and then unload it and haul it to 
its ultimate destination on motor-trucks or 
wagons. In this particular case it was pos- 
sible to unload the pipe directly from the cars 
into the trench which had been prepared to 
receive it. A small derrick, which was so ar- 
ranged that it could move under its own 
power, was loaded on the last car of a train- 

load of pipe. The train was moved along the 
railroad beside the trench and the derrick 
placed the pipe-lengths in the trench where 
they were put together. The derrick itself, as 
fast as it unloaded a car, would move ahead, 
taking a position on the car which had just 
been unloaded in order to remove the pipe 
on the next car ahead. 

So far as the writer knows, this is the first 
time it has been possible to place pipe on cars 
at the point of manufacture and unload it 
directly into the position in which it is to 
be used. 

As soon as the construction now under way 
by the city is completed, the additional water 
developed by Calaveras Reservoir will be 
used in San Francisco. 

Rolled clay core of Calaveras Dam unde 

ruction. This core, which is su 
iw completed to a height of 21 

he embankments of rocky 


January, 1925 

AS early as the fa's this city was considering the advisability of bringing its 
J~\. water supply under municipal ownership. 

The rich possibilities of water development in the Calaveras Valley across 
the bay were realized by the city's engineers, and there was talk of the city 
buying that property. 

Nevertheless, there were short-sighted critics who said that it was folly to 
go "so far away from San Francisco" for more water, and when Spring Valley, 
in 1875, acquired the first of its Calaveras holdings, these critics scoffed. 

Today there would be no way of solving San Francisco's immediate water 
needs if it were not for this foresighted acquisition of the Calaveras lands. 

Today Calaveras, which the city talked about acquiring in the yo's, is the 
scene of a striking co-operation between the city of San Francisco and Spring 
Valley Water Company. 

The agreement between the Company and 
the city specified that at least twenty-four 
million gallons daily should be developed. 
However, for economic reasons, all of the 
structures have been built to carry more than 
this amount of water. 

The controlling factor on the delivery of 
the supply from Calaveras to Crystal Springs 
is the capacity of a pumping station which is 
being built near Ravenswood in San Mateo 
County for the purpose of pumping the water 
through Pulgas Tunnel into Crystal Springs 

Originally this station was designed to 
pump twenty-four million gallons daily, but 
in view of the fact that the remainder of the 
transmission system had a capacity far in 
excess of this, it was decided to install suffi- 
cient capacity to pump thirty-two million 
gallons daily. 

The construction of Calaveras Reservoir, 
together with improvements made during the 
last year in the Livermore Valley, which in- 
creased the productivity of the subterranean 
sources owned by the Company in Livermore 
Valley to about double their former capacity, 

Cross-section of Calaveras Dam, one outline showing the dam as now completed to an elevation of 775 feet, and K>; 
elevation of Calaveras Dam (775 feet), Calaveras Reservoir impounds more than thirty-two billion gallons of w « 

of 810 feet, the reservoir will impoi 1 

January, 1925 


Up-stream slope of Calaveras Dam, with Observation Hill 

beyond. Out of the borrow pit on this hill over two million 

yards of material have been taken 

has made it possible to insure at least thirty- 
two million gallons daily in addition to the 
twenty-one million gallons daily which has 
heretofore been obtained from the Alameda 

This means that the present developed 
supply of Spring Valley Water Company is 
seventy-four million gallons, sufficient to 
supply a population of over 700,000 people. 

Qalaveras in l8f5 

WHEN T. R. Scowden, Chief Engineer, 
City Water Supply, filed his report 
with the Board of Supervisors, April 19, 
1875, recommending that the city of San 
Francisco acquire Calaveras Valley for a 
great dam and reservoir site, he stated that 
the acquisition of a municipal water system 
had engaged the attention of the Board of 
Supervisors for six or seven years. He was 
evidently of the opinion that his report 
recommending Calaveras as a municipal 
water source would settle the question, but 
he was in error. The city failed to acquire 
Calaveras, and Spring Valley came into pos- 
session of it. 

The Scowden report contains some inter- 
esting material about Calaveras. The valley 
is described as follows: 

"Calaveras Creek is the principal south 
fork of Alameda Creek, and takes its rise 
in the most elevated regions of the Mount 
Diablo range. Its general course is north- 
westerly, and its length is about 38 miles. 
It is proposed to collect and store the waters 
of the Calaveras Creek, together with the 
waters of its largest tributary, the Arroyo 
Hondo, in an immense reservoir, covering 
the entire Calaveras Valley, by means of a 
dam or embankment thrown across the nar- 
row canyon at the outlet of the valley, and 
thus form a reservoir in which would be 

ther showing the dam when future construction will carry it to its ultimate elevation of 810 feet. At the present 
adding a minimum of twenty-four million gallons daily to the San Francisco supply. At its final elevation 
fty-one billion gallons of water 



January, 1925 

The spillway of Calaveras Dam is now completed. It had reached the above stage of construction in September, 
1924. The top of the dam is seen on the skyline 

Calaveras Dam of Spring Valley Water 
like that on the cover of San Fra 

any carried to a height of 215 feet above its foundation. This view, 
Water, shows the berm construction of the down-stream slope 

January, 1925 



water stored with head and force sufficient 
to flow by gravitation to the distributing 
reservoir in the city of San Francisco. 

"The Calaveras reservoir would be tapped 
at its westerly side by means of an outlet 
tunnel, perforating the hills lying between 
the Calaveras Valley and San Jose Valley; 
the water drawn thence would flow in a 
wrought-iron conduit 60 inches diameter, 
and 45.58 miles in length to the Rock Creek 
or main distributing reservoir in San Fran- 

"The area of the watershed of Calaveras 
Creek above the point selected for the em- 
bankment, is 101.28 square miles; of the 
Arroyo Hondo, 38.20 square miles; total 
watershed, 139.48 square miles, of which 
16.79 square miles are situated in Alameda 
County, and 122.69 square miles in Santa 
Clara County. With the exception of Cala- 

veras Valley the country is extremely pre- 
cipitous, unfit for cultivation, and covered 
for the greater part with dense masses of 
chamisal, interspersed with forests of pine 
and oak. The hills bordering the San Jose 
Valley directly east, consist of sandstone only 
slightly metamorphic and contain numerous 
fossils, mostly in a bad state of preservation, 
sufficient, however, to fix the age as tertiary. 
Passing easterly after crossing the valley at 
its easterly base, there is a region of highly 
metamorphic rock, which in places might be 
termed slate. On the easterly side of this is 
a deep valley (the site for reservoir), and 
crossing this one strikes Calaveras Creek and 
ridge, which leads to the summit of Mt. 
Hamilton, located centrally within the Cala- 
veras watershed, in a direction nearly trans- 
verse to the main chain, or northeast and 
southwest. This ridge is of metamorphic 

Spring Valley's Sunol Aqueduct, with a capacity of seventy million gallons daily, will carry Calaveras water down 

beautiful Niles Canyon. In this span, art goes hand in hand with engineering, and the nobility 

of the landscape suffers no hurt 



January, 1925 

Spring Valley's Niles-to-Irvington forty-four-inch pipe- 
will carry Calaveras water to the Irvington inlet of the 
Hetch-Hetchy Conduit, through which the water will flow 
to Crystal Springs Reservoir in San Mateo County. The 
pipe on the car has since been laid 

sandstone, although not so highly altered 
as are portions of the great mountain mass to 
the east, and the strata are much broken and 
often standing nearly vertical. 

"Mount Hamilton, the highest point of 
the group, and the highest peak north of 
San Carlos extending as far as Clear Lake, 
is 4448 feet above the level of the sea. From 
its summit, which is of easy access, there is 
a fine view, not only of the beautiful and 

fertile valley of San Jose, but of the wild and 
entirely uninhabited and unknown region to 
the east, northeast, and southeast of the Cala- 
veras and Arroyo Hondo." 

Engineer Scowden, in making mention of 
Mt. Hamilton in the paragraph above, adds 
this note: 

"This mountain has been selected for the 
site of the Lick Observatory." 

Engineer Scowden had this to say about 
the water productivity of Calaveras Valley: 

"The total annual amount of water fall- 
ing on the watershed above described, namely 
on an area of 139.48 square miles, equals 
58,175,666,600 gallons. As in other cases, 
take one-half as the percentage of utilization, 

(Continued on Page 16) 



for Sp 




's Nili 


using the 





the t\\ 

loading cars 




g pipe 




in one 

Spring Valley' 

Miles Reservoir, completed and roofed over, will receive Calaveras water 
at the outlet of the Sunol Aqueduct 

January, 1925 



San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 
Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. IV 

January, 1925 No. 1 

"TNFINITE cost hath been bestowed ii 


Rome of old, Constantinople, Carthage, 
Alexandria, and such populous cities, to 
convey good and wholesome waters." 

This quotation, on the back cover of our 
last issue, was credited to Robert Burton. 
Who was Robert Burton ? The answer is that 
he was one of the quaintest and most eccen- 
tric writers that England ever produced. He 
was born 1577 and died 1640, and the book 
by which he is known to all students of 
English literature is called "The Anatomy 
of Melancholy." It is one of the strangest 
books ever written, full of queer stories 
gathered in out-of-the-way places, and cram- 
med with quotations from Latin writers that 
only a handful of scholars ever heard of. 

Cursed himself with a melancholy dis- 
position, Burton resolved to help others 
afflicted in the same way; so he made a 
study of melancholy, its causes and its cures. 
All medical theories and practices, ancient 
and of his own day, seemed equally import- 
ant to Burton. He took them all seriously, 
and the result is a hodgepodge that the medi- 
cal scientists of today would find most amaz- 
ing if they read Burton's book. But it is only 
read by a few delvers into the "curiosities of 

Burton regards impure water as one of 
the causes of melancholy. Here is a passage 
that shows how Burton handles his subject : 

"Standing waters, thick and ill-coloured; 
such as come forth of pools, and moats, 
where hemp hath been steeped, or slimy 
fishes live, are most unwholesome, putrefied, 
and full of mites, creepers, slimy, muddy, 
unclean, corrupt, impure, by reason of the 
sun's heat, and still-standing; they cause 
foul distemperatures in the body and mind 
of man, are unfit to make drink of, to dress 
meat with, or to be used about men inwardlv 

or outwardly. They are good for many do- 
mestic uses, to wash horses, water cattle, 
etc., or in time of necessity, but not other- 

"Some are of the opinion," Burton con- 
tinues, "that such fat standing waters make 
the best beer," but this he denies with vigor, 
quoting learned authorities in support of 
his position. He tells of a stream in Thessaly 
that "turns cattle most part white," and of 
another stream in Macedonia that "makes all 
cattle black that taste it." He informs us that 
"the stuttering of some families in Aqui- 
tania" is caused by the drinking of impure 
water. This is how he sums up the evidence : 

"They that use filthy, standing, ill-colour- 
ed, thick, muddy water, must needs have 
muddy, ill-coloured, impure, and infirm 
bodies. And because the body works upon 
the mind, they shall have grosser under- 
standings, dull, foggy, melancholy spirits, 
and be really subject to all manner of in- 

And now for the constructive side of the 
matter: "Pure, thin, light water by all means 
use, of good smell and taste, like to the air 
in sight, such as is soon hot, soon cold, and 
which Hippocrates so much approves, if at 
least it may be had. Rain water is purest, so 
that it fall not down in great drops, and be 
used forthwith, for it quickly putrefies. Next 
to it, fountain water that riseth in the east, 
and runneth eastward, from a quick running 
spring, from flinty, chalky, gravelly grounds; 
and the longer a river runneth, it is com- 
monly the purest, though many springs do 
yield the best water at their fountains." 

Burton was broad-minded and willing to 
give credit where credit was due, as this 
statement shows: "The waters in hotter 
countries, as in Turkey, Persia, India, with- 
in the tropics, are frequently purer than 
ours in the north, more subtile, thin, and 
lighter, as our merchants observe, by four 
ounces in a pound, pleasanter to drink, as 
good as our beer, and some of them, as 
Choaspis in Persia, preferred by the Persian 
kings before wine itself." 

Few physicians can heal themselves. Al- 
though Robert Burton wrote a big book 
about the cure of melancholy, his own dis- 
temper continued through life. It is related 
of him that nothing would make him laugh 
except the bad language which the bargemen 
on the River Thames exchanged. 



January, 1925 

Spring Valley on the IVaterfront 

By M. C. Gorgas, Publicity Department 

"AVAST there! Hard down your helium!" 
ii The salty words rang a ship's bell in 
my absent mind. I was crossing the Embar- 
cadero and wool-gathering, two things that 
should not be attempted at one and the same 

.1 brought up all standing, and took a new 
set of bearings. 

In trying to steer a straight course across 
the Embarcadero, I had almost stepped into 
the excavation for the subway. Hoisting the 
"Thank you" flag for my Good Samaritan, 
I tacked and headed nor'-nor'east, and 
finally hove to at Spring Valley's waterfront 

"Ship ahoy!" I cried, rapping on the door. 

"Hello" would have been the correct nau- 
, tical reply, but the response came from an 
alert business man, and it was: 

"What can I do for you ?" 

"Are visitors allowed on board?" I asked. 

"Step right in and make yourself at home," 
was the courteous return. 

I found myself in a spick-and-span office 
not much larger than a captain's cabin 
aboard a whaler. 

"Is Mr. Henry Templeman aboard ship?" 
I inquired. 

"I am Mr. Templeman." 

"Tip us your flipper," I said, and Spring 
Valley's Manager of Docks and Shipping ex- 
tended a cordial hand. We hooked grappling- 
irons, and I furled sail and came to anchor 
on a comfortable chair. 

For fifty years Henry Templeman has 
known the wonderful waterfront of San 
Francisco. Fifty years ago the bay was 
crowded with windjammers loading grain 
for Liverpool and Leith, Havre and Mar- 
seilles and Bordeaux. Today a windjammer 
in the bay is an object of special curiosity. 
Fifty years ago the crimp was a familiar 
figure, and unfortunate derelicts of the Bar- 
bary Coast were shanghaied to all ports of 
the Seven Seas. Today all that is changed. 
The Barbary Coast is gone, and the ship- 
master worries now about stowaways. Fifty 
years ago almost the only steamers in the 
bay were Pacific Mail liners. Today you 
may see two hundred and fifty steamers in 
the bay at one time. Fifty years ago the iron- 

clad Monitor "Comanche" represented the 
navy of the United States in these waters, 
with an occasional wooden-sided sloop-of- 
war. Today the battleships, destroyers, and 
submarines of the Pacific Fleet are a familiar 
sight. Fifty years ago a horse and wagon 
hauled the overland mail from the Embar- 
cadero to the Postoffice at Battery and Wash- 
ington streets. Today airplanes from Reno, 
the last transcontinental relay, land it at 
Crissy Field. 

All the marvelous changes of fifty years 
Henry Templeman has seen at close range. 
None on the harbor side has seen more of 
these changes than he, for he is the Dean of 
Waterfront Business Men. 

All the water used by ocean-going steamers, 
coastwise vessels, ferry-boats, bay and river 
craft, is supplied by Spring Valley's Mana- 
ger of Docks and Shipping. It is a big busi- 
ness, amounting to about 365,000,000 gallons 
a year. 

"What's your cruising-ground down 
here?" I asked Mr. Templeman. 

"Eight miles," he answered. "From the 
foot of Buchanan Street to Hunters Point 
Dry Dock." 

"Do you find everything shipshape and 
easy-going with the people you run foul of?" 

"A certain amount of diplomacy is needed 
now and then," he replied with a smile. 

"Oh, you sometimes get jammed between 
the mate and the engineer?" 

"Well," answered Mr. Templeman con- 
servatively, "it is true that they don't always 
agree about the amount of water taken on. 
But such little disputes always settle them- 

"With the aid of a belaying-pin?" 

"Fortunately, that argument is not used 
between mates and engineers." 

"When you go aboard ship do you some- 
times have an opportunity to splice the main 

"My dear sir," said Mr. Templeman in a 
tone of wonder, "have you forgotten that we 
are here well within the three-mile limit?" 

Realizing that I had headed into trouble, 
I went about and stood away from this 
dangerous subject. 

"I notice that Spring Valley has placed 

January, 1925 



drinking-fountains on all the piers. Are they 
well patronized?" 

"Yes," said Mr. Templeman, "and they 
have effected a great saving of water. Thirsty 
longshoremen used to have a way of opening 
a hydrant and wasting a barrel of water just 
to get a drink." 

Mr. Templeman, who had been glancing 
through his mail — for he is a very busy man, 
and has not much time for interviewers — 
handed me a letter. 

"Do you want me to cast my deadlights 
over this?" I asked, and Mr. Templeman 
nodded. It was a letter from the Assistant 
General Superintendent of the Army Trans- 
port Service, and read as follows: 

"I desire to express our appreciation of 
your prompt action in assisting us to obtain 
a temporary supply of water to Fort Mc- 
Dowell and Alcatraz." 

"At eleven o'clock a few mornings ago," 
Mr. Templeman explained, "the Army 
Transport Service at Fort Mason rang up 
and asked how soon we could furnish two 
of their water-boats for Fort McDowell and 
Alcatraz, both entirely out of water on ac- 
count of a break. We always answer 'Now' 
to such queries. By two o'clock that same 
afternoon 380,000 gallons had been delivered 
to Fort McDowell and Alcatraz. That's 
enough water to supply 125 families for a 

"You deliver in pretty large quantities." 

"Liners," said Mr. Templeman, "usually 
reserve from twenty-five to thirty per cent of 

their deadweight capacity for water alone. 
A ten-thousand-ton ship will take from this 
port 2500 or 3000 tons of water in her tanks 
and hold." 

"What was your record delivery?" 

"To the Mount Vernon. She steamed out 
of the Golden Gate with 1,700,000 gallons 
(7500 tons) of Spring Valley water." 

Seventy-five hundred tons of water! The 
magnitude of this swell tore me from my 
mental moorings and left me pounding 
heavily on the beach. When I clawed off 
into deep water again, Mr. Templeman was 
introducing me to his crew. 

Still weak and waterlogged, I asked one 
who looked like the bosun's mate how he 
liked his boarding duties. 

"It's a bit tough sometimes," he replied 
with a Hibernian grin and intonation, "to 
go aboard ship and have to admit that I'm 
selling nothing but chasers." 

"A chaser," Mr. Templeman explained 
for my benefit, "is a bit of slang long since 
outlawed by the Eighteenth Amendment. It 
referred in the distant past to the modest 
draught of Spring Valley that was used to 
wash down a more potent potation." 

"Sure the captain knows what a chaser 
is," Mr. Templeman's assistant put in; 
"they used them occasionally on the 'Thetis,' 
God bless her memory!" 

"Righto!" I exclaimed, and from then on 
the ship of conversation passed from Spring 
Valley to salt water. 

Opportunity for ^Reminiscence 

Oakland Tribune, Dec. 19, 1924 

THE people on this side of the bay are 
glad that San Francisco will now be 
able to continue to completion the large 
Hetch Hetchy undertaking. Water is as great 
a necessity on that side as it is on this, and 
the controversies which have hindered and 
threatened to halt the work are regarded as 
unfortunate. As Californians and neighbors, 
the Eastbay is glad to see them settled. 

In the light of history, it seems at least a 
little incongruous that at the most critical 
period in the Hetch Hetchy work, and when 

the money was not available, the much- 
maligned Spring Valley Water Company 
came to the front to furnish the funds to 
complete the job. Volumes might be written 
on the subject, but suffice to say the com- 
pany is to be commended and regardless of 
the fact that among those who berated it and 
made it a target are some of those who are 
most prominent in Hetch Hetchy circles. At 
least, the situation affords opportunity for 



January, 1925 

Spring Valley and Hetch 

(Continued from Page l) 

this work. Such a bond issue would cost at 
least $35,000, and would entail a delay of 
six months or more, and thereby a cessation 
of work involving a payroll of five hundred 
trained men engaged in work imperatively 
necessary of completion. 

As the order of the Railroad Commission 
of August 12, 192 1, and the agreement be- 
tween the Company and the city of April 17, 
1922, contemplated the development of the 
Spring Valley system until purchased by the 
city and the ultimate acquisition by the 
city of the works of the Spring Valley Com- 
pany, all for consolidation with the Hetch 
Hetchy system as the ultimate water supply 
for the city, the Company, when appealed 
to by the city's representative, felt that it 
should lend all co-operation possible to the 
city in the solution of its financial problem. 
As the only alternative involved the losses 

to the city incident to a special bond issue 
for $1,000,000, the Water Company was 
asked to advance four annual payments of 
$250,000 which would accrue, under the 
agreement between the city and the Com- 
pany, annually hereafter as rentals for the 
use of the Bay Division of the city's Hetch 
Hetchy Aqueduct. Further, the Company to 
borrow or obtain the necessary funds at the 
lowest rates of interest obtainable; the city 
in turn to compensate the Company for such 
interest costs in such a way that the Com- 
pany would neither profit nor sustain any 
loss in interest by the transaction. Although 
the Company was in a position by which it 
was required to borrow money to carry on 
its own construction works, it agreed with 
the city under the difficult circumstances to 
advance $1,000,000 so that the Hetch Hetchy 
work could be prosecuted continuously with- 
out the loss of trained forces and the other 
losses incident to failure to carry on con- 
tinuously those parts of the Hetch Hetchy 
work so essential at this time. 

Qalaveras i?i l8y§ 

(Continued from Page 12) 

that is, 29,087,833,300 gallons, which gives 
an available daily supply of 79,692,690 gal- 
lons, leaving a surplus of nearly 30,000,000 
gallons per day more than sufficient to sup- 
ply 100 gallons to each inhabitant for a 
population of 500,000, which surplus may 
be used to supply San Jose, Milpitas, and 
all the towns along the line of the conduit 
from Calaveras Valley to the city of San 

A map of Calaveras Valley accompanying 
the Scowden report gives the names of those 
living in the valley at that time. 

On the Santa Clara County side of the 
boundary line there were: S. Sherman, J. T. 
Sherman, Harris, D. Campbell, Wells, Pom- 
eroy, Gaines, Martin. A schoolhouse is noted 
near the road from Milpitas. 

And on the Alameda County side: Hay- 
den, Ellis, Harris. 

(^/loosing QolleElors 

"A large water company in California 
takes special care in selecting men to fill 
positions as collectors, choosing men who 
have had considerable service with the Com- 
pany, who have proven themselves tactful 
and capable, and who understand the policies 
of the Company. This care is justified be- 
cause the collectors are the only persons in 
the Company with whom the great majority 
of the public comes in contact. To the aver- 
age water-user the collector is the Water 

In forwarding to the Manager of the Water Sales 
Department of Spring Valley a marked copy of the 
Southern Pacific Bullet in for December, 1924, con- 
taining the above item, the Associate Editor of 
the Southern Pacific Bureau of News writes : "You 
probably will have no difficulty in discovering what 
water company is referred to here." 

Spring Valley Water Company 

F. B. Anderson Benjamin Bangs 

W. B. Bourn S. P. Eastman E. L. Eyre E. S. Heller 

C. Osgood Hooker Frank B. King E. J. McCutchen 

L. F. Monteagle Warren Olney, Jr. A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 


Chairman of the Board 




S. P. Eastman SECRETARY 


E. J. McCutchen 
John J. Sharon 
Benjamin Bangs 

Assistant Vice-President 

Theodore J. Wilder 


Assistant Auditor 
Assistant Secretary 

F. P. Muhlner 
D. W. Cooper 
H. M. Kinsey 

Manager Water Sales Department o. e. Clemens 
Assistant Manager V. E. Perry 

Chief Adjuster Frank P. Clark 

Chief, Collection C. I. Gavin 

Manager, Docks and Shipping H. Templeman 

Chief Engineer g. a. Elliott 

Construction Engineer T. W. Espy 

Chief Draftsman I. E. Flaa 

Superintendent, City Distribution George W. Pracy 

Assistant, City Distribution O. Goldman 

Foreman, Service and Meter Joseph Kappeler 

Foreman, City Distribution P. D. Rice 

Superintendent Agricultural 

Assistant Superintendent 
Assistant to Superintendent 

F. W. Roeding 

C. H. Schween 

Frank Peters 

Superintendent Water Division w. B. Lawrence 

Assistant Superintendent G. J. Davis 

Assistant Superintendent A. W. Ebright 

Hydrographer S. M. Millard 

Director of Publicity 

Manager Real Estate 

Purchasing Agent 

Edward F. O'Day 

Theodore J. Wilder 
J. H. Le Pla 

PROPHET ELISHA.-josephus. 




■i I 


jLhis town has twice been laid in ashes; but 
the young phoenix has risen on ampler wings 
than those that steadied the consumed form 
of its parent. It must be the great commercial 
emporium ofCalifornia in spite of competition, 
wind and flames. Its direct communication 
with the sea, its magnificent bay and internal 
communications, have settled the question of 
its ultimate grandeur, ^s, Three years ago only 
a dozen shanties sprinkled its sand-hills; now, 
even with its heart burnt out, it looks like the 
skeleton of a huge city. That heart will be re- 
constructed, and send the life-blood leaping 
through the system. 


l8 5 0] 

an Francisco "Water 

published by 
Spring Valley Water Company 


Volume IV 

April, 1925 

Number 2 

'The Fire Department and Spring 'Valley 

By Thomas R. Murphy, Chief Engineer, San Francisco Fire Department 

SELF-PRESERVATION, and the preser- 
vation of its created resources, are among 
humanity's strongest instincts; and on the 
other hand, fire, if un- 
controlled, is one of hu- 
manity's most unrelenting 

For the purpose of com- 
bating fire, modern science 

( and human ingenuity have 
combined to devise intri- 
cate and powerful appara- 

| tus, the mobility and endur- 
ance of which are a mar- 
vel even to those of us who 
have had the opportunity 
to closely observe the grad- 
ual development of this 
modern fire-fighting ma- 
chinery. Organizations of 
trained men have been 
established in practically 
ever}- civilized community 
on the earth, and huge 
sums of money are being 
spent upon their mainten- 
ance. But in spite of all 
this remarkable advance- 
ment, in spite of the tech- 
nical perfection and the 
generous appropriations for 
the modern fire depart- 
ments, they, just like the 
more primitive fire-fighters 
of the past, must entirely rely upon a plenti- 
ful and dependable supply of water. The 
best-organized fire department, equipped 
with the most modern types of apparatus, 

Chief Murphj 

would become like an unarmed mob, were it 
compelled to face a conflagration without an 
adequate water supply in back of it. 

Is it any wonder, then, 
that we who are charged 
with the protection of your 
lives, your homes, and your 
industries from fire, are 
gravely concerned with the 
proper maintenance of an 
ample and reliable water 
supply, and are eager to 
co-operate in any effort to 
insure its proper mainten- 
ance and to work toward 
expansion and improve- 
ment ? 

Fifteen years as Chief 
Engineer of the San Fran- 
cisco Fire Department have 
given me an excellent op- 
portunity to correctly ana- 
lyze the degree of co- 
operation existing between 
Spring Valley Water Com- 
pany, which is maintain- 
ing practically the entire 
water supply of the city, 
and the Fire Department, 
in so far as fire protection 
is concerned. I feel secure 
in the knowledge that the 
officials as well as the per- 
sonnel of the Water Com- 
pany, privately owned and operated as that 
Company is, and notwithstanding decisions 
by courts and commissions that domestic 
water supplies are subject only to compul- 


sory measures, are sincerely concerned with 
the situation from a fire-protection view- 
point, and are always ready to lend their 
support to all just recommendations and re- 
quests coming from the Fire Department. 

While by the foregoing I do not wish to 
create the impression that in my judgment, 
and from a fire-protection viewpoint, the 
water system maintained by the Company is 
all that could be desired, I cannot but ac- 
knowledge the genuine desire on the part of 
the Company to co-operate with the Fire 
Department wherever possible, to the end 
that proper fire protection may be had in 
every section of the city where service mains 
are being maintained. 

This recognition of a public duty becomes 
evident in many ways. The Water Company 
dispatches its gatemen to the seat of every 
large fire, in order to make sure that a suffi- 
cient supply of water is delivered through the 
mains. Whenever conditions arise which re- 
quire the shutting off of mains in any sec- 
tion where fire-hydrants are installed, the 
Fire Department is notified, so that it may 

establish other protective measures pending 
the restoration of normal conditions. Plans 
of proposed main extensions are always 
made with serious thought for the fire-pro- 
tection needs of the various districts, and 
recommendations coming from the Chief of 
the Fire Department receive thorough con- 

To cite a very recent occurrence typical 
of the spirit that prevails in all dealings be- 
tween the Water Company and the Fire De- 
partment : At Nineteenth and Howard streets, 
by order of the Board of Fire Commis- 
sioners, an old-style hydrant had to be re- 
placed. The department has an arrangement 
of long-standing, paying a flat rate for the 
work of installing fire-hydrants, and also 
removing the old-style hydrants when neces- 
sary. This rate, originally designed to barely 
cover the cost of the necessary work, has 
never been raised. Despite increased cost of 
materials and labor, it remains at the old 
figure — namely, $40 for an installation, and 
$22.50 for a removal, including the complete 
restoration of street and sidewalk pavements. 

"The Chief is very cool at a fire," testifies Spring Valley Gateman Mike Griffin 

April, 1925 


In this high-pressure test the streams were thr 
times as high as Lotta's Fountain 

high-pressure water system for fire-protec- 
tion purposes. This system has now been 
sufficiently long in service for us to pro- 
nounce it a complete success in every respect. 
Somehow the impression grew in various 
quarters that this system does, or should, 
displace the Spring Valley Water system as 
a source of fire protection, but this is very 
far from the truth. This high-pressure sys- 
tem is just exactly what it was intended to 
be — namely, an auxiliary fire-protection sys- 
tem, or a system that is meant to augment 
and reinforce the old system, but by no 
means to displace it. 

The reasons for this are — first, this sys- 
tem covers a comparatively small area of 
the city; and second, even within this covered 
area, there are large gaps without high- 
pressure mains and hydrants. At no time did 
the designers and proponents of this high- 
pressure system intend to displace the fire- 
hydrants of the Spring Valley system, not 
even in the down-town section, which is well 
provided with the larger hydrants connected 
to high-pressure mains. They merely in- 
tended to augment it with an additional 
safeguard by the installation of this auxiliary 
system which, for emergency purposes, draws 
its main supply and has its main storage 

It developed that between the time of the 
original installation of this hydrant and the 
time of its replacement a new main of 
twenty-four-inch diameter had been laid on 
Howard Street, and to take advantage of this 
large main for fire protection the Company 
was asked to plug the old six-inch main to 
which the old hydrant had been connected, 
and to install the new hydrant on the twenty- 
four-inch main. 

This request was cheerfully complied 
with. A large force of men moved on the 
ground, and, from the appearance of the 
trenching and materials required for this 
job, it is safe to surmise that the transaction, 
from a cost point of view, was not very 
profitable to the Water Company. But the 
public interest had been served, and every- 
body was pleased. I cite this merely as one of 
many examples still fresh in my memory, 
and all plainly demonstrating the existence 
of this mutual good-will. 

Following the earthquake and fire in 
1906, the city voted a five-million-dollar 
bond issue, and with this monev installed a 

of high-pressure 

New Montgomery Street 


April, 1925 

reservoirs right in the city, so that, in the 
event of another earthquake, emergency re- 
pairs can be made with the least possible 
delay. This system is particularly noted for 
the great number of line-gates which in case 
of need permit the shutting down of very 
small sections, and thereby isolating a pos- 
sible break in the mains without endanger- 
ing a large territory. Excepting during 
emergency conditions, such as large fires, 
or, as is the case at present, during periods 
of drought affecting the city's entire domes- 
tic supply of water, the high-pressure system 

is filled with fresh water supplied by Spring 
Valley Water Company, in order to lengthen 
its period of reliability, which would be un- 
duly shortened by corrosive action of salt 
water if the latter were used continually. 

The above will show the close relation- 
ship of Spring Valley Water Company to 
the fire protection of our city, and the grave 
necessity for harmonious collaboration of 
that Company with the city Fire Depart- 
ment. Fortunately, existing relations are of 
the best, and it is my sincere hope that they 
will thus continue. 

Water for Fire 'Protection 

By George W. Pracy, Superintendent, City Distribution 

FIRES have a dreadful attraction for all 
of us. We cannot help but admire the 
speed and efficiency shown by the firemen 
as they couple up their hose and attack the 
flames. We stand fascinated as the streams 
of water attack the burning building with 
terrific force. We are thrilled when the fire- 
men take these streams inside the blazing 
structure, heedless of the dangers that await 
them there. 

This part of the work is as necessary as it 
is exciting and dangerous, but back of it all 
is the essential but prosaic fact that Spring 
Valley Water Company must stand ready at 
any moment of the day or night to deliver the 
water that is all-important in the work of 
fighting fires. 

It is not enough that Spring Valley must 
furnish forty million gallons of water every 
day for ordinary uses, sufficient to flood 
Union Square to a depth of fifty feet. The 
Company must also stand ready to supply 
water to all the fire apparatus that can be 
concentrated at a fire. This use may be as 
high as one million gallons per hour, all 
supplied to as small a space as a city block. 

The use of such quantities in small areas 
makes much larger distributing mains neces- 
sary than would be required for domestic 
consumption only. In some of the rapidly 
growing outlying districts the domestic sup- 
ply is taken care of without complaint 
through two-inch pipe. The mains, however, 
are inadequate for supplying a fire-engine, 

and will have to be replaced as soon as possi- 
ble with six- or eight-inch pipe. A typical 
block in the Sunset District, solidly built 
upon, containing forty-eight houses, will 
draw water at a rate not to exceed two hun- 

This beautiful structure, at Eleventh and Bryant streets, 
San Francisco, is the Drill Tower of the Fire Department 


Testing the ''throw" from the stand-pipes of the Standard 

Oil Building. The streams are topping the roof of the 

al-fresco garden, which is twenty-two stories — more than 

three hundred feet— above the sidewalk 

dred gallons per minute. A fire there which 
called out only one engine would use one 
thousand gallons a minute, or five times the 
domestic rate. 

Mains are laid in the residential districts 
so that hydrants can be set at all street in- 
tersections. In the congested districts they 
are set together, and are reinforced with hy- 
drants on the auxiliary high-pressure system. 

All water systems are inspected by the 
National Board of Fire Underwriters, which 
subjects every part of the supply and distri- 
bution system to a rigid examination. This 
examination covers the size and depend- 
ability of the supply lines, the size of the 
mains, both feeder and distributing, the gates 
by which sections are shut down for repairs, 
the location and number of hydrants, the 
amount of water obtainable from a hydrant, 
the general care of the system, and, in fact, 
everything that helps to make the water sup- 
ply adequate and dependable at all times. 
The desire to get a favorable report naturally 
adds a zest to the work of maintaining the 

In some cities the water necessary to put 
out fires is obtained by starting additional 
pumps after the fire-alarm sounds. In San 
Francisco the reserve supply is carried in 
large storage reservoirs within the city, and 
is instantly available. Even though all the 
Spring Valley pumping facilities were in- 
capacitated, there would still be enough 
water to supply the city in every respect for 
three days. 

The Spring Ualky Qateman 

Bv the Editor 

CLANG! Clang-clang-clang! Clang! The 
brazen tapper above the telephone 
switchboard in the Spring Valley Building 
beats out its strident message. Fire! — and 
this is the second alarm! The man at the 
switchboard jumps up, and almost before a 
substitute has adjusted the head-phone he is 
speeding away to the fire. The Spring Valley 
gateman is doing his important part in fire- 

Arrived at the scene of the blaze, the gate- 
man reports to Fire Chief Murphy — you 
will always find the Fire Chief at a second- 
alarm fire. 

"Evening, Chief.'' 

"Hello, Mike." 

With that interchange, the Spring Valley 
gateman becomes subject to the strict dis- 
cipline of fire-fighting. He must obey orders 
as swiftly and as implicitly as any fireman 

on the job. He must go where the Chief tells 
him to go, do as the Chief directs, and stay 
until the Chief gives him his release. Up to 
this point he has been liaison-man between 
the Water Company and the city. Now, and 
until the Chief needs his help no longer, he 
is working for the Fire Department. 



chiefs of other da\ 

At a Special Meeting of the Town Council, to take 

into consideration the necessity of making imine'iliato arrangements for 
the protection and assistance of the sufferers by the conflagration of this 
morning, Present--" Messrs. Sjtcuart, Price, Ellis, Harris, Green, BSran- 
nan, Turk, Davis, Simmons and Harrison. Hon. J>0. W. GEARY, 
On motion of Mr. Price, 

Resolved^ That on account of the disastrous fire which occurred this 
morning, and the large amount of property now exposed to depredation, 
the Alcalde be authorised to empower the Chief of Police to employ a 
sufficient number ot persons to guard the burnt district, so as to render 
full protection to the property of the sulferers, and to retain them as long 
as necessary for that purpose. The persons so employed shall he under 
the immediate direction of the Chief of Police, and he paid such compen- 
sation as shall he approved by the Alcalde. 
On motion of Mr. Brannan, 

Resolved, That the President of the (Council of San Francisco is 
hereby instructed to solicit the assistance of the. Navy, through the com- 
manding officer of the Name, to station a guard in front of the Town, with 
boats during the night, to prevent property from being taken onboard 
of vessels unlawfully. 
\ On motion of Mr. Price, 

Resolved, That the sufferers by the disastrous Fire of this morning, 
be requested to register at the Alcalde's office the amount of their loss, at 
as early a period as practicable, so that any contributions that may be 
Itnade for their relief may be equally distributed. 

■ On motion of Mr. Price, U_ ... ~ 

! Whereas, the Town severely suffered this morning, from the want of 
necessary organisation and means to meet the devastating element of 


* Therefore, Resolved, That (the citizens he requested to meet in Ports- 
mouth Square, on Wednesday next, at 12 o'clock M., to take such mea- 
sures as maybe deemed advisable to protect the Town against another 
such calamity, by organising Fire Companies, and that the Town Coun- 
cil will supply the Hooks, Ladders, Axes, Slopes, &c. to be kept by said 

On motion of Mr. Steuart, 

Resolved, That the Alcalde be authorised to send to the Hospital, or 
provide in the most ready and suitable manner to afford immediate aid 
with proper medical attendance, to those individuals, who, m their praise- 
worthy exertions during the recent Fire, have received any bodily injury. 

j£2, That the proceedings of this meeting be published in the 

papers of this city. „^„„ t , , 

1 * J H. L. DODGE, Secretary* 

San Francisco, Dec. 34, 1849. 

The history of the San Francisco Fire Dep 
following the fust great fire that of C 

Al'KIL, 1925 


"Got lots of water, Chief?" 

"No, Mike." 

"We'll throw in College Hill to strengthen 
you up." 

"Good! Take two men and go to it." 

We are supposing that this particular fire 
is a night fire south of Market Street in the 
district supplied by the University Mound 
distributing reservoir. University Mound 
Reservoir is at elevation 163 feet. It's a bad 
fire. Tons of water are beginning to empty 
upon it from a dozen nozzles. The pressure 
can't stand up. College Hill distributing 
reservoir is at elevation 253 feet. No question 
about it, College Hill water will "strengthen 

The city is zoned for water service and 
fire protection. Streets in different zones are 
separated by closed gates. To throw in the 
pressure from a higher elevation, the proper 
gates must be opened. No need for the gate-. 
man to consult his book for the whereabouts 
of the gates. He knows them by heart. Ac- 
companied by the firemen the Chief assigned 
to him, he speeds along the "divide'' — let us 
say on the south side of Market Street — and 
throws in College Hill to strengthen Univer- 
sity Mound by opening four, five, six gates 
— his experience tells him how many are 
needed. With each turn of the gate-wrench 
College Hill water leaps forward from its 
higher elevation to reinforce the streams 
from the lower level of University Mound. 
Then the gateman reports back to the Chief. 

If he is not needed immediately, he goes 
and takes his stand with the Chief's opera- 
tor, who is stationed at the nearest fire-alarm 
box. Matters would be complicated if another 
fire happened to start in the College Hill dis- 
trict, which is feeding its water into the zone 
of lower pressure. No possibility can be over- 
looked in fire-fighting. Every emergency 
must be foreseen. Xo matter what the fire, 
the Chief fights it with his mind carrying 
the thought of protection for all the rest of 
the city. The Spring Valley gateman and the 
operator, on watch at the box, are his out- 
]io-ts, sentrymen ready to warn him that the 
fire-enemy has made his appearance else- 

When the fire is over the gates have to be 
closed. Then the gateman reports to the 
Chief once more. 

"It's all right now. Good night, Mike." 

"Good night, Tom." 

You see, the gateman is back in the serv- 
ice of the Water Company, and he and Tom 
Murphy are old friends. They've known each 
other — and have valued each other — for 
thirty-two \ears. 

Thirty-two years ago this month, Mike 
Griffin entered the employ of Spring Valley 
Water Company as helper to Pat Mee, the 
Company's veteran gateman of that genera- 
tion. A great old gateman was Pat Mee! He 
didn't believe in pampering a helper who 
stood six feet in his stockings, with the broad 
shoulders and muscled arms of that blue- 
eyed, curly-haired Irish young-manhood 
that, somehow or other, seemed to be more 
plentiful in San Francisco thirty-two years 
ago than it is now. Pat Mee made Mike 
Griffin work hard, and when Mike wasn't 
otherwise busy Pat made him memorize the 
streets of San Francisco — all the streets from 
the Embarcadero (it was East Street in those 
days) to the Pacific Ocean and from the 
north side clear down to the county line. 
Theie weren't as many streets then as there 
are today, for large tracts of land now de- 
veloped as choice residential sections were 
sandhills in '93. But there were plenty of 
streets even then, and it was a hard job to 
memorize them all in their proper order. 

"Pat Mee wasn't satisfied," says Mike 
Griffin, "until I had every one of them on 
the top of my tongue, just like the alphabet." 

Mike Griffin is selected for mention here 
because he is the dean of Spring Valley gate- 
men, but it goes without saying that the other 
gatemen have been through the same hard 
training. Ask Mike or any of the others to 
give you the streets in a certain section of 
San Francisco, and you'll hear a list rattled 
off without pause or stumble that is bound 
to include many names you never heard be- 
fore. A street is a street with the Spring 
Valley gatemen, and the}- know them all, no 
matter whether broad thoroughfare, narrow 
alley, or cul-de-sac. 

And they all know the underground ge- 
ography of the city. What is under the streets 
is no mystery to them. They visualize sharply 
the mysteries that the rest of us only glimpse 
once in a while when we stop to peer into 
an excavation. If they know one thing a 
little better than all the rest, it is the loca- 
tion of all the gates. The gates, of course, 
are all plotted in Spring Valley records, but 
no more accuratelv than thev are fixed in the 


April, 1925 

The fire-fighting progress of seventy-f 
death it took his name. The engine 
companies, fourteen truck compani 

5. David C. Brcderick led Emp 
lsed on Sacramento Street. Tod 
thirteen chemicals. This is Engir 


ompany. and atter ms 
has forty-eight engine 
: 115 Drumm Street 

April, 1925 


minds of the gatemen. Sometimes, in resur- 
facing a street, the contractor will run his 
bitumen over a gate-cover, hiding it from 
view. Is that any obstacle in the work of the 
gateman ? 

"We know where to look,'' says Mike 

Looking back over thirty-two years of 
keeping the gates, Mike Griffin sees vividly 
his first big fire. It burned everything that 
stood between Fourth and Fifth, Bryant and 
Brannan streets, principally lumber yards, 
small homes, and tenement houses. 

"After that bad fire," says Mike Griffin, 
"we reinforced the old system with a twelve- 
inch main down Fourth Street from Market 
to Berry, a sixteen-inch main on Brannan 
from Third to Ninth, and a twelve-inch 
main on Bryant from Fourth to Eighth." 

There was no looking in the records for 
those figures; Mike Griffin carries them in 
his head, and, like the street names, "on the 
top of his tongue." 

There are five Spring Valley gatemen, 
three of whom work on the day shift, one on 
the night shift, and the fifth on the "grave- 
yard." Hours are changed every two weeks. 
Mike Griffin explains the schedule. It sounds 
complicated, but it is efficient. Suffice to say 
here that two men work from eight a.m. to 
five P.M.; one man from eight a.m. to four 
p.m.; one man from four P.M. to midnight; 
and one man on the "graveyard shift" — that 
is to say, from midnight to eight in the 

Of course, gatemen have to do with gates 
even when there are no fires. If there is a 
piece of pipe to be replaced or a leak to be 
repaired, the gates must be shut down so 
that the section where the work is under way 
can be temporarily isolated. When the street 
gang is ready for the shutdown, the gateman 
arrives on the scene. If a section of pipe is 
being replaced, the gateman waits until the 
pipe is "bleeding" before he closes the gate. 

(Continued on page 16) 

T'he Forest Service Conference 

Bv Wallace I. Hutchinson, U. S. Forest Service 

ONE hundred and seventy-five officers of 
the California District, United States 
Forest Service, the largest gathering of For- 
est Service officers ever held in the United 
States, recently completed a ten-days con- 
ference at Fort Miley, San Francisco. This 
was the first general meeting of Federal 
forestry men that has been held in the state 
since 19 19. It was called by District Forester 
Paul G. Redington for the purpose of formu- 
lating more effective fire-prevention and sup- 
pression methods, and for the consideration 
of timber sales, grazing activities, and other 
problems connected with the administration 
and protection of the twenty million acres of 
Government forest land in the California 

Important addresses were made by Major- 
General C. T. Menoher, commanding offi- 
cer of the Ninth Corps Area ; Major Edward 
H. Bowie, District Forecaster, U. S. Weather 
Bureau; Charles G. Poole, of the U. S. Bi- 
ological Survey; M. B. Pratt, State Forester 
for California; Dr. B. F. Rastall, manager 
of Californians Inc. ; and Professor Walter 

Mulford, head of the forestry school of the 
University of California. 

The greater part of the conference meet- 
ings was given over to the consideration of 
the findings and recommendations of the 
Forest Service Board of Fire Review, based 
on the experiences of the 1924 fire season, 
during which 2657 forest fires occurred in 
California, burning over 1 ,065,039 acres, and 
causing damage to timber, forage, and im- 
provements estimated at more than five 
million dollars. All phases of forest-protec- 
tion and fire-suppression work were dis- 
cussed by the foresters, from public co-opera- 
tion in the prevention of the 70 per cent of 
fires that are annually caused by human 
carelessness, to law enforcement and the 
many details of actual fire-fighting and con- 
trol work in the woods. Among the impor- 
tant recommendations adopted by the con- 
ference were : 

The establishment of training schools for new- 

More intensive training of all men employed 
temporarily during the fire season; 



April, 1925 

That the support of the public, both urban and 
rural, must be secured before satisfactory protec- 
tion of our forests can be realized ; 

While adequate state forest fire laws are im- 
portant in dealing with incendiarism, carelessness, 
and negligence, need for active co-operation of 
peace officers and local justices in the enforcement 
of the present fire laws is paramount ; 

That fire weather forecasting in co-operation 
with the United States Weather Bureau be de- 
veloped to the fullest extent ; 

That the use of water by engine-driven pumps 
and hand pumps be extended as fast as funds are 

That a forest-fire hazard survey of all forest 
areas be initiated at once, so that an adequate sys- 
tem of fire-breaks and the reduction of fire hazard 
can be made as rapidly as funds will permit; 

That airplanes be used for the reconnaissance of 
going fires and checking on locations of fires in 
areas obscured from the standard Forest Service 
lookouts now located on high peaks ; 

That the technique of fire prevention and sup- 
pression be developed to the highest point of 

Two days of the conference were given 
over to practical field work on the forested 
lands of Spring Valley Water Company (the 

San Andres watershed), placed at the dis- 
posal of the Forest Service through the cour- 
tesy of the Company. The first day in the 
field was spent in solving a fire-suppression 
problem — one hundred and fifty rangers and 
supervisors fighting an imaginary fire that 
was supposed to have swept over three hun- 
dred acres of brush land before being dis- 
covered. To control this conflagration, fire 
camps were established and connected by 
emergency telephone lines; men, supplies, 
and fire-fighting tools transported to the 
scene, and fire lines laid out to check the on- 
rushing fire. After a stubborn fight the fire 
was controlled by night, and the men gather- 
ed together to hear the findings of the Board 
of Review which had closely followed each 
step taken to control the blaze. 

The second day was spent in testing new 
and improved fire-fighting apparatus. Prac- 
tice was had with portable fire-pumps that 
could be handled by two men, and which 
would throw a sizable stream of water at 

U. S. Forest Rangers stage a sham battle against fire on the San Andres watershed of Spring Valley Water Company. 

These lines threw sizable streams along the ridge 1500 feet from San Mateo Creek, where they were supplied with 

water by portable twin-cylinder gasoline-driven pumps 

April, 1925 


fifteen hundred feet from the source of sup- 
ply, or several times that distance by using 
pumps and water-tanks in relay. Experi- 
ments were also conducted with portable 
water-containers carried on a man's back 
and equipped with a hand force-pump — 
this apparatus being especially effective for 
the extinguishing of flames in burning logs 
and dead trees. Another important new in- 

vention was a portable flame-thrower, oper- 
ated with coal-oil or gasoline, which could 
be used for burning brush or back-firing on 
large conflagrations. A side-hill plow and 
scraper adapted for use in building fire 
lines and mountain trails was also given a 
trial. All of these inventions have been 
adopted as standard equipment for Foresl 
Service fire-fighters in California. 

Fire! Friend or Foe 

Bv Frank Sweeley, U. S. Forest Service 

A TERRIBLE foe invades our home lands 
L — fire running amuck! No enemy is 
more ruthless or destructive, none will re- 
duce more quickly our resources of timber 
and watersheds to utter devastation. 

Fire! It has just started along a trail and 
it flaunts a thin wisp of smoke in derision. 
It was not caused by lightning. Therefore, 
in that locality, some man was careless with 
a blazing match or burning tobacco, or left 
a camp-fire unextinguished. The thermome- 

ter stands at 105 degrees; the air is dry. The 
enemy has chosen its time well. 

High on a peak that commands the coun- 
try below is the sentinel — the lookout man of 
the Forest Service. One quick "shot" with 
the alidade or locating instrument, a hurried 
ring of the telephone, a message to an officer 
far away giving the location of the fire — and 
the ranger force is in action. 

One-half hour later the enemy has ad- 
vanced to a conflagration of immense pro- 

Fire on the watershed. The forest rangers started it as part of their field work, in order to test the most expeditious 

method of putting it out 



portions. Along an imposing front, swept by 
high winds, move the flames; the smoke 
billows up in great black and gray clouds. 
Of all the seven devils, fire is the most evil. 
The enemy has attacked with unmistakable 
fury, and the rangers recruit men from far 
and wide and go into the fight in full battle 
array. Several hours later the fire organiza- 
tion takes form for a stubborn, protracted, 
heart-breaking struggle that may extend over 
days or weeks. 

There is the supreme command with head- 
quarters behind the lines. Maps are on the 
table and on the wall. Men come and go. The 
telephone, connected with the battle-line, 
rings insistently. The field general at the 
front has designated his captains, lieuten- 
ants, sergeants, and corporals to handle the 
fire-fighters; all his strategy and technique 
of fire-fighting are called into service. Scouts 
go ahead to ascertain the position of the fire. 
Base and field commissaries are established 
for supplying equipment and feeding men — 
perhaps hundreds of men eventually. Before 
night sets in the roar of the flames, as some 
steep slope is laid waste, can be heard for 

miles, and the air is choked with smoke. 
Puny man in a struggle with nature's most 
terrifying element — an element that is kindly 
when used carefully, but a demon when un- 
leashed ! 

Communication men have set up field tele- 
phones wherever needed, connected with the 
supreme command, in order that the fight 
on all sectors may be correlated and progress 
or losses reported. Messengers carry written 
instructions to outlying posts in order that 
men in command, removed from the tele- 
phone, may do their work effectively and in- 
telligently. Perhaps an airplane drones over- 
head carrying an observer who will report 
where the enemy is most vulnerable. 

It is as much a battle as any warfare with 

In such heroic struggle can man hope to 
win ? By experience it is known that he can. 
By everlastingly fighting back, by taking 
advantage of natural barriers, improved 
weather conditions, and the employment of 
the fighting technique developed through the 
years, the enemy can be narrowed down, cut 

(Continued on page 14) 

While one group 

April, 1925 



San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 

Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. IV 

April, 1925 

No. 2 

ONE of the significant addresses of the 
conference of U. S. Forest Rangers held 
recently in San Francisco was made by 
Major Edward H. Bowie, District Forecas- 
ter, U. S. Weather Bureau, who spoke on 
"Humidity in Relation to Fire Hazard." 

The relation of humidity to fire hazard, 
Major Bowie pointed out, is exceedingly 
close. Humidity is the amount of water- 
vapor in the air. When expressed in the num- 
ber of grains of moisture per cubic foot of 
air, it is called absolute humidity. When 
expressed in the form of a percentage, as 
the ratio of the actual quantity of moisture 
in the air to the quantity that would saturate 
it under its actual conditions as to pressure 
and temperature, it is called relative 

The Weather Bureau records relative 
humidity at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day. A 
relative humidity of from 75 to 80 per cent at 
5 a.m. is regarded as normal. When relative 
humidity is 100 per cent, the air is com- 
pletely saturated with moisture, a condition 
precedent to rainfall. 

To say that relative humidity is high in 
a forest area is to say that the air is moist, 
and of course the forest is moist too, for the 
moisture in the air condenses in the form of 
dew or frost, wetting the trees, underbrush, 
duff, and litter of the forest area. Under such 
conditions the danger of fire is remote. But 
when relative humidity is low, the air is dry, 
and so is the forest, due to the process of 
evaporation. The lower the relative humid- 
ity, the dryer the trees, brush, and duff. 
Under such conditions fire is a present 

Last summer, Major Bowie pointed out, 
a period of very low humidity was recorded. 
It was particularly marked in the San 
Gabriel National Forest, where at one time 

relative humidity fell to almost three per 
cent. A warning went out from the Weather 
Bureau to beware of forest fires. It did not 
reach the San Gabriel National Forest in 
time. A bad fire had started before the warn- 
ing arrived, and it was not brought under 
control until the period of very low humidity 
came to an end. 

It is not alone in the forest areas, accord- 
ing to Major Bowie, that low humidity 
should be regarded as a fire warning. A 
striking instance of the relation of low hu- 
midity to fire hazard was afforded by the 
Berkeley conflagration which occurred on 
September 17, 1923. Consider the record of 
relative humidity for three days, up to and 
including the day of the Berkeley fire: 

At 5 A.M. At 5 P.M. 

September 15 97 85 

16 87 31 

1 7 30 64 

* # # 

THAT fire-fighting was a problem, not 
unconnected with other delicate prob- 
lems, in the far-off days of the Roman Em- 
pire, is brought home to us in a very vivid 
manner by the Letters of Pliny the Younger. 
This distinguished Roman (the same that 
gave us the famous description of the erup- 
tion of Vesuvius and the destruction of 
Pompeii and Herculaneum) was Governor of 
the province of Bithynia in Asia Minor un- 
der the Emperor Trajan. In one of his letters 
to the Emperor he wrote : 

"You will consider, Sir, whether it may 
not be advisable to institute a company of 
firemen, consisting only of one hundred and 
fifty members. I will take care that none but 
those of that business shall be admitted into 
the company, and that the privileges granted 
them shall not be abused. It won't be hard 
to regulate so small a number." 

The Emperor's response indicates that 
there were political factions to be feared 
outside the Pretorian Guard. He wrote (and 
his letter evidently closed the correspond- 
ence) : 

"We must remember that the province (of 
Bithynia), and that city in particular (Ni- 
comedia), have been vexed by factions of 
that very sort. It will be better to provide 
such machines as are of service in extin- 
guishing fires, enjoining the owners of houses 
to prevent the spread of flames, and if neces- 
sary to call in the aid of the populace." 



April, 1925 

Fire! — Friend or Ft 


(Continued from page 12) 

off at last bit by bit, and finally conquered. 

Destruction ! destruction ! in the crackle of 
burning brush ! Ruin ! ruin ! in the roar of 
timber afire! Then gray devastation and 
black desolation as the melancholy after- 
math. Perhaps valuable property has gone in 
smoke. Perhaps life has been offered in 
sacrifice to the fangs of the Moloch! What 
responsibility that man assumes who handles 
fire in the woods ! 

The two February days spent by the 175 
supervisors, technical men, and rangers of 
the United States Forest Service on Spring 
Valley Water Company's land, were given 
over to developing fighting technique and 
strategy. An imaginary fire of three hundred 
acres, burning in valuable timber and brush 
watersheds, was turned loose. Lines to be 
used for back-firing were constructed to stop 
the supposed flames. Mopping-up crews 
followed and put out all imaginary smoulder- 
ing logs, snags, or sparks. A Board of Re- 
view later criticized the methods used. Spe- 
cial equipment was thrown into the fight. 
Flame-throwers for starting back-fires. One- 
man-pack water containers with a force- 
pump attachment were used for putting out 
snags and logs. A miner's lamp was demon- 
strated for illumination at night when lines 
are cleared far in advance of the flames. A 
number of portable twin-cylinder gasoline- 
driven pumps were started, and long stretches 
of hose carried water under pressure to high 
elevations. Trucks rushed equipment and 
men to the fire-lines. 

Special equipment valuable in its sphere 
has nevertheless distinct limitations in use. 

forest rangers 

s in burning logs and dead trees, the 
a hand force-pump attached to a metal 
strapped on the back "Alaska pack" 

The Red Demon of the Woods will still be 
fought and conquered by strategy and well- 
directed man-power using the shovel, Mc- 
Leod tool, mattock, axes, saws — and "stick- 

But why such devastation of vital re- 
sources ? Why such a total of physical suffer- 
ing and hardships that come with the hardest 
work in the world — fighting fire? Why the 
loss of property and occasional loss of life? 
Let us swat the man who sets the fire. Let 
us prevent warfare with that awful force 
which, when used carefully and cautiously, 
has made civilization possible. 

Fire Prevention on Watersheds 

By W. B. Lawrence, Superintendent, Water Division 

THERE is altogether too much careless- 
ness with fire in a country where half 
the property is liable to become a victim to 
the flames." 

So the Times-Gazette, of Redwood City, 
San Mateo County, thundered editorially in 
September of 1877. After forty-seven years 
the hazard still exists, but fortunately there 

is organized effort to offset human careless- 
ness, and San Mateo County fires are not 
allowed to devastate as of yore. 

The chances are that the editor had just 
come in from fire-fighting when he wrote 
the editorial from which the quotation is 
taken. That month there had been some bad 
fires in the county. The Sawyer Tract, part 

April, 1925 



of the San Andres watershed of Spring 
Valley Water Company, covered with a thick 
second growth of bay, oak, and madrone, ten 
years old, had been desolated. "In some 
places," the newspaper reported, "the soil 
is covered with ashes nearly two feet deep. 
A bird's-eye view of the burned district 
presents a picture of desolation at which 
those familiar with the former charming 
characteristics of the San Andres Valley will 
feel something of a personal loss." Another 
fire in the same region had just previously 
burned over some 640 acres. It was started 
by careless campers. 

"On Sunday last the heavens seemed to 
be on fire in that portion of this county h ing 
west of San Andres Reservoir," the Times- 
Gazette reported on September 21, 1889. 
The editor was not exaggerating, for that 
fire of '89 that looked as though it had in- 
vaded the heavens is well remembered by 
old-timers in the county. "As far south as 
San Jose," the editor testifies, "the sky was 
darkened by heavy clouds of smoke, and 
each evening the sun set looking; like a 

blood-red disk with a brown background." 
A week later the editor went over the 
ground and reported that "a space nearly 
twelve miles square had been completely de- 
nuded of underbrush, the trees burned, 
fences and cordwood destroyed, and nothing 
but a black patch left to maik the place 
where a large forest of timber and under- 
growth had stood." This fire destroyed a 
mile of Spring Valley flume. 

x^fter this big fire on the San Andres 
watershed, it became the custom of the 
Company to plow a fire-guard along all 
growing timber, and to burn the grass mi 
the watershed east of San Andres and Crys- 
tal Spiings lakes. For better control, grass 
was burned before it began to dry, and pre- 
ferably at night. 

A few years later, the better to safeguard 
the beauty of the countryside, it was decided 
to fi e-guard along all roads, and burn all 
the grass between the roads and the fire- 
guards at opportune times. But this method 
injured many growing trees, so it was later 
abandoned. Now, each spring, the Company 

A forest ranger demonstrates a flame-thrower used in back-firing, f 
of Spring Valley Water Company 

benefit of W. B. La 



April, 1925 

plows with a disk plow, and harrows, a 
strip about ten feet wide along all roads, 
highways, planted areas, and growing tim- 
ber where possible. 

Since this course was adopted, there have 
been no serious fires on the property. True, 
there have been numerous occasions when a 
lighted match or burning tobacco, carelessly 
thrown away, ignited the dry grass; but the 
fire burned to the fire-guard and stopped. In 
one or two instances, owing to high wind, 
the fire has passed the fire-guard, but for- 
tunately was observed at the start and ex- 
tinguished before it did serious damage. 

Where the wooden flumes of the Company 
pass through timbered country, it is custom- 
ary, every two years, to remove all the grow- 
ing timber for a distance of fifty feet on 
both sides of the flumes, and on the lower 
side of the flumes to remove all grass and 
weeds for a distance of six or ten feet. Owing 
to this precaution, no flumes nor structures 
have been lost during the last twenty years. 

As an added precaution, the Company, in 
1909, built fire-breaks, thirty-two miles in 
length and from ten to fifteen in width, 
along the tops of all the ridges through its 
properties. These fire-breaks could be used 
as a base for back-firing, if fire should enter 
the properties from adjoining territory. They 
are so constructed that they can be traversed 
by automobile or truck, thus affording quick 
transportation for men and fire-fighting ap- 
paratus. Trails are kept open to make the 
properties accessible. 

Owing to their rare scenic beauty, the 
properties of the Company appeal strongly 
to the public, so the fire hazard would be 
great unless very special precautions were 
observed. Access to certain regions is by 
permit only, and the permit-holder agrees to 
abide by rules designed to minimize danger 
of fire. Every spring the properties are posted 
with warning signs for the same purpose. 

*The Spring *U ] alley Gat em an 

(Continued from page 9) 

A pipe is "bleeding" when it has been cut 
all around but not quite severed, and the 
water is beginning to ooze through. 

There is quite a bit of ceremony about 
closing a gate for a replacement or repair 
job, a ceremony in which the Fire Depart- 

ment takes part. First the gateman tele- 
phones to two officials of Spring Valley — the 
Superintendent of City Distribution and the 
Assistant Manager of the Water Sales De- 
partment — that the shut-down is about to 
take place. Fiom the Spring Valley Building 
the message goes immediately to the Fire De- 
partment. It is received by a fireman at the 
high-pressure station on Jones Street be- 
tween Sacramento and Clay, where men are 
stationed twenty-four hours a day, working 
in eight-hour shifts, to receive and transmit 
just this information. Jones Street telephones 
the information to the fire companies in the 
district where the shut-down is to take place. 
Then, and not till then, the gate is closed. 
The routine is perfect, and the control is 
absolute. The same course is repeated when 
the gates are opened again. 

Suppose fire breaks out in a district where 
there has been a shut-down to permit re- 
placement of a piece of pipe. Obviously, 
when the section of pipe is taken out, the 
line is wide open. Open the gate, and the 
water will waste. There is a routine for this 
too. The street gang is equipped with wooden 
plugs that fit the pipe. If there's a fire, 
plugs are shoved into the open ends of the 
line, and the pipe-ends are rapidly but care- 
fully braced. Then the gate is opened. That 
makes it possible to use every hydrant in 
the area where the work is being done. 

One of the worst fires Mike Griffin re- 
members was the Berkshire Hotel fire. He 
remembers most vividly of all the spectacle 
of Fire Chief Tom Murphy climbing a lad- 
der to the flaming hell of the second story 
and making his way within the building. 

"I never expected to see Tom come out," 
says Mike Griffin. "There was fire above and 
below and to right and left of him, and 
although the firemen had a stream of water 
on the window where he went in, the flames 
were belching out on both sides of the 
stream. I wouldn't have gone in there if they 
gave me the whole of San Francisco. But the 
Chief is very cool at a fire, and he never 
sends a man where he won't go himself." 

"The rude, affectionate rain falls blessedly on the 
land — on the roofs, on the fields, on everything. It 
fills the streams. It soaks to the roots of things. It 
fills the secret caverns of the earth and the crevices 
of the spirit, as well." — S. F. Call. 

Ihe alarm of fire acted \i\e the touch of a 
magicians wand.The vitality of the whole city 
was in an instant arrested and turned from 
its course. Theatres, saloons, and all public 
places, were emptied as quickjy as if the build- 
ings themselves were on fire. The business of 
the moment was at once abandoned, and the 
streets filled with people rushing frantically 
in every direction— not all towards the fire, by 
any means; few thought it worth while to as\ 
even where it was. To \now there was a fire 
somewhere was quite sufficient, and they made 
at once for house or store, or wherever they 
had any property that might be saved, while, 
as soon as the alarm was given, the engines 
were heard thundering along the streets, amid 
the ringing of the fire-bells. 



OF 185I 


—burton's anatomy of melancholy 

mm v. & 

mm t 






/ v 






Fellow Citizens: 

I address all classes, whether native or foreign residents 
of California, who cordially assent to the transaction just 
witnessed: I have the pleasure to announce that the flag of 
the United States was, on the 7 th inst., hoisted at Monterey, 
and will, I expect, this day be substituted for the revolution- 
ary flag recently hoisted at Sonoma. 

The proclamation of the U. States T^aval Commander- 
in-Chief now at Monterey, which is about to be read to you, 
has already been widely circulated in the country; and the 
advantages which cannot fail to accrue to the population of 
this fine country, as therein set forth, have and will undoubt- 
edly meet with a cordial reception by all classes of the people 
in California. 

It is earnestly recommended to all that they continue in 
the quiet pursuit of their proper occupations, in which, un- 
der the shadow of that glorious banner, there can be no fear 
of oppressive or undue interruption. After leaving this place, 
all persons who are disposed to unite in the formation of a 
local militia, to be held subject to drill and such military 
duty as the public security under the new order of things 
shall call for, are invited to attend at the house of Wm. A. 
Leidesdorff, Esq'., where arrangements will be immediately 
entered into for such an organization. 

'AN Francisco I^ter 


Spring Valley Water Company 


Volume IV 

July, 1925 

Number 3 

The "Plaza of San Francisco 

By the Editor 

Mexican Custom House in 

in front of which the Stars 

July 9, 

SEVENTY-FIVE years ago— on October 
18, 1850 — the steamer "Oregon," from 
New York, passed through the Golden Gate, 
gaily decorated and fly- 
ing a large flag with the 
inscription "California 
is a State." As she 
rounded Clark's Point, 
her bell pealing joyous- 
ly, the citizens who 
thronged the hills of 
San Francisco cheered 
and shouted. That night 
was one of mad rejoic- 
ing. There were great 
bonfires in Portsmouth 
Square, fireworks, and 
the booming of two large cannons. 

In celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of 
California it is impossible to overlook Ports- 
mouth Square, otherwise known as the Plaza. 
Historical, literary, and legendary associa- 
tions cluster about this square. History was 
made there before the "Oregon" brought her 
epochal message, for it was in the Plaza of 
Verba Buena that Commander John B. 
Montgomery of the U. S. Ship "Portsmouth" 
first raised the American flag on the penin- 
sula, July 9, 1846. 

Through the colorful years that followed 
the Plaza held its importance as the center 
of San Francisco life. Today it is still im- 
portant in our municipal scheme of things, 
though recent happenings there have drawn 
upon the past to make them significant. The 
Plaza is now a stage-setting, not a civic 

Curiously enough, the Plaza, sacred to 

Plaza of Verba Buena, 
and Stripes were raised 

patriotism, is an international shrine as well. 
Pilgrims journey thither from all over the 
world to do honor to Robert Louis Stevenson, 
and incidentally to sa- 
f lute the city that erected 
I the first of all Stevenson 
I monuments. The Steven- 
son Memorial in the 
Plaza has won a digni- 
fied renown for San 
Francisco in all the 
literary capitals of Eu- 
rope and on the beaches 
of all the seven seas. 

In the story of the 
Plaza there is one inter- 
lude of comedy, supplied 
by the awkward efforts of the dead and gone 
Bensley Water Company to maintain a foun- 
tain there. Bret Harte deemed this fountain 
worthy of a satirical line or two, so that the 
old water company that was absorbed by 
Spring Valley as long ago as 1865 is entitled 
to a footnote, at least, when the poems of Bret 
Harte come to be adequately edited. 

I. Verba Buena 

As late as 1833 there were no dwelling- 
places in what is now San Francisco, except 
at the Presidio and the Mission. Verba 
Buena, as the Cove on the western shore of 
San Francisco Bay was called, was without 
a single inhabitant. 

According to William Heath Davis, who 
visited the Bay in '^t,, and who wrote a very 
valuable book later on, "at the place now oc- 
cupied by Portsmouth Square there was 
growing a crop of Irish potatoes enclosed by 


July, 1925 

a brush fence, the crop having been planted 
by Candelario Miramontes, who resided near 
the Presidio with his family." 

The credit for founding Verba Buena be- 
longs to Governor Figue- 
roa. The Bay was at- 
tracting hide-droghers 
and whaling-ships, and, 
as the anchorage in the 
Cove was better than at 
the Presidio, the Gover- 
nor decided to establish 
a trading-post there. 
Figueroa chose as har- 
bormaster an English- 
man, Captain William 
A. Richardson, who had 
a ranch at Sausalito and 
two small schooners on 
the Bay, in which he 
collected hides and tal- 
low from the Missions 
of Dolores, Santa Clara, 
and San Jose. 

Richardson drew the 
first plan for the town 
of Yerba Buena by the 
simple expedient of lay- 
ing out La Calle de la 
Fundacion (Foundation 
Street) , which started at 
about the present inter- 
section of Kearny and 
Pine and ran northwest. 
On the north side of this street, in the midst 
of chaparral and sand-dunes, Captain Rich- 
ardson housed his family. So he is our Old- 
est Inhabitant. This was in 1835. In '36, 
Jacob P. Leese built alongside of Richard- 
son. He was our first merchant. Leese mar- 
ried a sister of General Vallejo, and the 
union was blessed in 1838 by a daughter, 
Rosalie. She was our first Native Daughter. 

To locate the site of these first two dwell- 
ings, stand facing west at Clay and Grant 
Avenue : Captain Richardson had a hundred- 
vara lot on your right hand, and Jacob 
Leese's place was to your left. 

At first Captain Richardson and his 
family lived in a tent; but in 1837 he built 
a large adobe house which received the digni- 
fied name of Casa Grande. It survived until 

In 1S39, at the instance of Governor 
Alvarado, Francisco de Haro, Alcalde of 



If thou view the Plaza aright, 
Go 'visit it by the pale moonlight; 
For the gar beams of lightsome Jay 
Show that the fountain does not play. 
When the broken benches are hid in shade, 
With many a 'vagrant recumbent laid; 
If 'hen the clock on the Monumental tower 
Tolls to the night the passing hour; 
When cabman and hackman alternately 
Entreat and threaten — indulging free 
In coarse yet forcible imagery; 
When the scrolls that show thee the playhouse 

In monstrous letters do feign and lie, 
Of "Fun digest ofFulgarily"; 
When Bella Union is heard to ra^e 
O'er the last conundrum the minstrel ga^e; 
When the street-boy pauses — intent upon 
The band at Gilbert's Melodeon — 
Then go — but go alone the while, 
And view John Bensley's ruined pile, 
And, home returning, — do not swear 
If thou hast seen some things more fair. 

Verba Buena, commissioned a Swiss sur- 
veyor by the name of Jean Jacques Vioget 
to make a survey of the town. The Plaza 
does not appear on his map, but it may have 
been taken for granted. 
Helen Throop Purdy, 
the historian of our 
Plaza, advances the 
plausible thought that 
"the site of Miramontes' 
potato-field was chosen 
for the Plaza because 
that ground had been 
cleared and cultivated, 
and all the other blocks 
were drifting sandhills 
or chaparral thickets." 

The receiver of cus- 
toms at first made his 
headquarters in Cap- 
tain Richardson's Casa 
Grande, but in 1844 
the building of a Cus- 
tom House was authoriz- 
ed, and it was erected 
at the northwest corner 
of the Plaza. It was to 
cost $800, but actually 
it cost $2800. It was of 
adobe, with a tile roof, 
and contained four 
rooms. In front of it 

I was a flag-pole from 

which flew the Mexican 
flag. Later on this adobe building was the 
headquarters of the Alcalde. 

In this adobe building the government 
business of the sleepy little town of Yerba 
Buena was transacted until the 9th of July, 
1846, when a very important event thrilled 
all the inhabitants into wakefulness and 
wonderment about the future. 

II. A Change of Flags 

On July 7, John D. Sloat, Commander-in- 
Chief of the United States naval forces in 
the Pacific Ocean, wrote from his flag-ship 
"Savannah" in the harbor of Monterey to 
Don Jose Castro, Commandant General of 
California, as follows: 

"The central government of Mexico hav- 
ing commenced hostilities against the United 
States of America, the two nations are now 
actually at war; in consequence, I call upon 
you in the name of the United States of 

July, 1925 


Commander Montgomery raising the American flag in the Plaza while the U. S. Sloop of War "Portsmouth" 

salutes with all her guns. This drawing was made from descriptions of the scene and the geography of the Cove 

of Yerba Buena, for the "Life of John Drake Sloat," by Major Edwin A. Sherman, Oakland, 1902 

America to surrender forthwith to the arms 
of that nation under my command." 

The day before, he had despatched a let- 
ter to Commander John B. Montgomery, 
aboard the U. S. Ship "Portsmouth" in the 
Bay of San Francisco, in which he wrote : 

"I have determined to hoist the flag of the 
United States at this place tomorrow, as I 
would prefer being sacrificed for doing too 
much than too little. 

"If you consider you have sufficient force, 
or if Fremont will join you, you will hoist 
the flag of the United States at Yerba Buena, 
and any other proper place, and take posses- 
sion, in the name of the United States, of the 
fort and that portion of the country." 

Accordingly, on the 8th of July, Com- 
mander Montgomery wrote to William A. 
Leidesdorff, Vice-Consul of the United 
States at Yerba Buena, as follows: 

"At y 2 past seven o'clock tomorrow morn- 
ing I propose landing a considerable body 
of men under arms, and to march them from 
the boats to the flagstaff in Yerba Buena, 
upon which at 8 o'clock I shall hoist the 
Flag of the U. States under a salute of 
twenty-one guns from the Portsmouth, after 
which, the Proclamation of the Commander 

in Chief Commodore Sloat will be read in 
both languages for the enformation [sic] of 
all classes." 

It was a peaceful occupation. Commander 
Montgomery landed with seventy sailors and 
marines at the foot of Clay Street, marched 
with music to the Plaza, and raised the 
Stars and Stripes. The Mexican flag had 
been hauled down before he arrived by the 
receiver of customs. Obviously, July 9, 1846, 
is the most memorable date in the history of 
the Plaza, or Portsmouth Square, to give it 
the name that it ever afterwards officially 
bore. In further commemoration of this event, 
the name of the Embarcadero was changed 
to Montgomery Street. 

III. A Civic Center 

Until 1848 the old Custom House was the 
only building on the Plaza, although others 
had risen roundabout. In '48 a schoolhouse 
was built on the west side of the Plaza. Here, 
on June 22, 1849, Stephen Massett ("Jeems 
Pipes of Pipesville") gave the first public en- 
tertainment in San Francisco (Yerba Buena 
had become San Francisco in '47 ) . There were 
four ladies present, "probably all there were 
in town," wrote Charles Warren Stoddard. 


July, 1925 

When the discovery of gold in California 
made San Francisco a city, the Plaza became 
an amusement center. Rowe's Olympic Cir- 
cus was tented on Kearny Street near Clay. 
Washington Hall was 
built on Washington 
Street, opposite the 
northern side of the 
Plaza. Here, in January, 
1850, the city saw its 
first play — "The Wife," 
by Sheridan Knowles. 
That year, too, Thomas 
Maguire opened his first 
theater, the Jenny Lind, 
on Kearny Street. It 
burned down, was re- 
built, burned down 
again, and then built of 
brick. In 1852 this 
Jenny Lind Theater of 
brick was sold to the 
city for use as a City 
Hall. Because Tom Ma- 
guire named his first 
playhouse after the great 
Swedish singer, the leg- 
end grew that Jenny 
Lind once sang in San 
Francisco; but P. T. 
Barnum, her American 
manager, never brought 
her to the West. After 
selling his Jenny Lind 
Theater to the city, Ma- 
guire built his Opera 
House on Washington 
Street between Kearny 
and Montgomery, just 
around the corner from 
the Plaza. Junius Bru- 
tus Booth and his great 
son, Edwin, (they lived 
on Telegraph Hill ) were 
among the players who 
made theatrical history 
there, not only for San 
Francisco, but for the 
United States. One day 
in 1856 a newspaper- 
man named Theodore Hittell discovered 
James Capen Adams, the great grizzly-bear 
hunter, giving an exhibition of his bears at 
the northeast corner of Kearny and Clay. He 
went in and interviewed Adams, and the re- 


July 9, 1846 
by george sterling 

To Columbia, the Mother, a dark-eyed babe 
nvas brought, 

In that far year -ivhen Mexico and our young 
legions fought. 

Around her mighty footstool then stood offspring 
east and tvest, 

But ne^er one like that strange child she gath- 
ered to her breast. 

And ne^erone Columbia IieL { gladlier her own — 

A babe, a child, a wistful girl, a maiden fair 
and grown. 

Awhile she sought the fostering breast, and en- 
its milk -cvas cold, 

She brimmed the Mother s needy lap <voith 
tribute of her gold. 

Then year by year her empire grew, from snows 

to ocean sands, 
A ivonder-tale, a song of hope, a star to sadder 

'There gleamed that El Dorado, the bright 

Hesperian Isles, 
Where elver <woke the fadeless flovier to Nature's 

tender smiles. 

'Thrice happy they nulio on her lulls find suste- 
nance and peace, 

No seas more blue 'round Italy, no skies more 
mild o'er Greece. 

Careless and prodigal fromyouth, no thought 
of thrift she knows, 

Who to her sisters north and east holds forth the 
grape and rose. 

Yet can she ne°per be as they.- her --wilder blood 

A richer music, madder lo*ve, than those of 
colder lands. 

The hoyden of her Mother's hearth, she finds in 
eyery <vein 

The Saxon urge, the Norman dream, the impas- 
sioned blood of Spain. 

suit was one of the greatest books for boys 

ever written. 

"Opposite the eastern and northern sides 

of Portsmouth Square," writes Mrs. Purdy, 
"were bowling-alleys, 
billiard-rooms, and the 
gambling - saloons of 
which we have read so 
much, brilliantly light- 
ed, elegantly furnished 
according to the times, 
and thronged with play- 
ers and visitors. But 
while we read in history 
and fiction the lurid 
tales about them, we 
should not forget that, 
while they were border- 
ing the Square on the 
east and north, to the 
south were growing up 
solid business houses 
and to the west churches 
of all denominations." 

San Francisco's first 
brick building was erect- 
ed in '48 by Melius & 
Howard, at Clay and 
Montgomery. San Fran- 
cisco's first bank, Wright 
& Company's Miners' 
Bank, was housed in '49 
at the northwest corner 
of Kearny and Wash- 
ington; and on Bren- 
ham Place, opposite the 
western side of the 
Plaza, rose the head- 
quarters of Monumental 
Engine Company, whose 
bell was used so dra- 
matically by the first 
Vigilance Committee. 

Before the end of '49 
the Custom House and 
the schoolhouse had dis- 
appeared from the Plaza, 
but nothing was yet done 
to beautify it. Indeed, 
there seems to have been 

a pound there for stray cows and mules. Yet 

it had plenty of human color. 

"Men of all races," says Mrs. Purdy, 

"passed up and down its borders, each in the 

characteristic garb of his nation — Turks in 

July, 1925 


rtsmouth Square in 1858, viewed from Clay and Kearny streets, looking toward Washington. This was before 
upper Kearny Street was widened. In the building at the corner of Kearny and Washington the Pioneers met after 
the death of James King of William and decided to stand with the Vigilance Committee, 
then in process of organization 

turbans, Russians in furs, Chinamen with 
queues, tatooed New Zealanders, Chileans, 
Peruvians and Mexicans in serapes shading 
from somber to gay, Kanakas, Malays, Cali- 
fornians on prancing horses with silver- 
mounted trappings, and a mixture of Ameri- 
cans among them all." 

On October 18, 1850, as already noted, the 
first news of California's admission to the 
Union reached San Francisco, and the glori- 
ous event was celebrated in the Plaza. It was 
the natural place for all sorts of celebrations, 
rallies, political gatherings, and mass-meet- 
ings of the citizens. The indignation meet- 
ings that led to the formation of the two 
Vigilance Committees, in 185 1 and again in 
1856, were held in the Plaza. In 1859 all 
San Francisco gathered at the Plaza to hear 
Colonel Baker deliver his great funeral ora- 
tion over the body of Senator Broderick, who 
had been mortally wounded in his duel with 
Judge Terry at Laguna de la Merced. 

The fashionable shopping district reached 
up to the Plaza from Montgomery Street. So 

did the popular promenade. The principal 
cab stand of San Francisco was along its 
Kearny-Street front. On the east side of 
Kearny Street was the depot for the Butter- 
field Overland Stages, and for the busses 
that ran to North Beach and the Presidio, to 
South Park and the Mission Dolores. 

IV. The Bensley Fountain 

On March 26, 1 861, the following squib ap- 
peared in the Evening Mirror, a daily long 
since "sunk without trace" : 
"A poetess in the East asks: 

"What is the news in the golden land? 
How does the great Pacific stand? 
Do her rocks, and sands, and clays yield gold, 
As they did in the bounteous days of old?" 


"The Golden State keeps her old repute. 
And the sound of the rocker is never mute ; 
Her waters still flow as they did of old. 
And her streams wash down the sparkling gold." 

"Question (prose) : 

"How does Montoomerv Street look? Is it 


July, 1925 

still the promenade of the Pacific beauties, 
and its corners the congregating points of 
impudent 'sports' and decayed politicians? 
And the Plaza — what about it ? Do tell me ! 
Has it got a fence?" 

"Answer: — Mont- 
gomery Street! Why, it 
would do your eyes good 
to see it. Splendid stores, 
gorgeous jewelry-shops, 
towering palaces, and 
no less than two Acade- 
mies of Music! Broad- 
way and Chestnut Street 
are not much in com- 
parison. It continues 
the center of Female at- 
traction, while the same 
old 'sports' and poli- 
ticians are still 'around.' 
They are now employed 
as 'props,' to keep Mont- 
gomery Block from tum- 
bling over. The Plaza! 
Now you talk! Has it 
got a fence? 'We flatter 
ourselves' that it has a 
fence; and an iron one at that, go to! And 
what is more, it has shrubbery, (two live 
cotton-woods,) serpentine walks and splen- 
did benches for the special accommodation of 
idle 'greasers' and invalid Chinamen. Nor is 
this all, either! It has a fountain; yea, a 
fountain! And such a fountain! You should 
just see it squirt ! So great is the volume, and 
so high does it throw the water into the 
depths of ether that fears are entertained 
lest it quench the stars and put out the sun ! 
They do say, too, that it is a great conven- 
ience to the 'Man in the Moon,' and that all 
he has to do, as he passes over it, is to hold 
out his pitcher and catch the fluid — thus get- 
ting his daily supply of water free of charge^ 
'Has the Plaza got a fence, indeed!' You bet 
it has!" 

It is true that the Plaza had a fence, as 
this satirical journalist reported. The Plaza 
had been graded in 1854, and surrounded by 
a very plain wooden fence. By '56 the cotton- 
woods had been planted, and an iron fence 
took the place of the wooden one. 

TThe history of the fountain is not easily 
traced. Doubtless it was given to the city by 
John Bensley, of the San Francisco City 
Water Works, as an evidence of civic con- 



Perhaps from out the thousands passing by — 
The city's hopeless lotos-eaters these, 
Bloyin by the four winds of the serpen seas 
From common <want to common company — 
Perhaps some one may lift a heafty eye 
And see, dream-blown across his memories, 
Those golden pennons bellying in the breeze 
And spread for ports -tv here fair adventures li 

And O ! that such a one might stay a space 
And taste of sympathy, till to his ears 
Might come the tale ofhi?n <who knew the grac 
To suffer sweetly through the bitter years; 
To catch the smile concealed in Fortune's face 
And draw contentment from a cup of tears! 

sciousness. But unfortunately it did not work 
very well — its jet of water was low, languid, 
spiritless. Indeed, this fountain was an inter- 
mittent fountain, though not intended to be 
such. It was a source of 
amusement rather than 
a water source. It took 
no hold on San Fran- 
cisco affections, as Lot- 
ta's Fountain did in 
after years. Rather it 
is to be classed with 
the Cogswell fountains, 
though it was not pre- 
tentious enough to of- 
fend the artistic sense. 
It was, indeed, a foun- 
tain of derision. 

In the San Francisco 
Journal of May 22, 
1862, it was referred to 
in these contumelious 

terms : 

"The Plaza Foun- 
tain. — This farcical in- 
stitution of the pure wa- 
ter (Bensley style) was 
at work once more this afternoon, and cer- 
tainly did throw from the central tube a 
volume of water, about three feet in height, 
while the side-pipes squirted each a stream 
of about an inch in diameter to the height of 
the principal stream. Verily this is one of the 
institutions of San Francisco. Strangers 
visiting our city should not fail to go and 
see this crystal fountain, when in operation." 

The Journal writer allows us to glimpse 
the equipment of the fountain, though not 
its architecture. Apparently the Journal 
deeply resented this fountain, for there is 
another "paper bullet" fired at it on June 7, 
1862, in these terms: 

"That Bensley Fountain. — On yester- 
day quite a group of persons assembled on 
Kearny Street, and some even ventured so 
far as to cross the street for the purpose of 
admiring that 'institution,' the Plaza Foun- 
tain, which was 'really' throwing water from 
its various mouths to the height of five feet. 
Much admiration was excited by the exhibi- 
tion, and all parties left, perfectly satisfied 
that it was a — humbug." 

But it remained for Bret Harte to give 
this Bensley Fountain a place in literature. 
Readers will look in vain for the poem on 

July, 1925 


'The Plaza" in the ordinary editions of Bret 
Harte's collected poems, for it was unearthed 
from the files only a few years ago. It is far 
from being one of his best poems, and it is 
not complimentary to 
the Bensley Fountain, 
yet it certainly deserves 
quotation in San Fran- 
cisco Water among the 
poems inspired by the 

V. Robert Louis 

San Francisco left its 
impress on Robert Louis 
Stevenson. There ismuch 
of San Francisco in his 
letters and in "The 
Wrecker," and he paint- 
ed the whole San Fran- 
cisco of his time in that 
fine essay entitled "A 
Modern Cosmopolis." 

Stevenson spent one year in California, 
and of that time about six months in San 
Francisco — roughly, from Christmas, 1879, 
to May, 1880. It was an important period 



O Sailor, sailing the Unf at homed Sea, 
What -ivind nonv speeds thee, and tvhat 

Star's thy guide? 
And iuhat ad-venture ivor/h thy bravery 

Calls 'with the lifting tide? 

of his life. Here he finished "Across the 
Plains," wrote "The Amateur Emigrant" 
and some of his best essays, including those 
on Thoreau and Yoshida-Torajiro. Here he 
was married. Here 
Charles Warren Stod- 
dard inspired him with 
desire for the South 

It is well known that 
Stevenson loved to 
lounge on a bench in the 
Plaza, studying San 
Francisco life, talking 
to wastrels as they drift- 
ed thither from China- 
town, the Barbary 
Coast, and that old 
Kearny Street which 
Rudyard Kipling was 
afterward to name "the 
Street of Adventure." 

The Plaza, therefore, 

was a happy place for 

a memorial to Robert Louis when a little 

group of Stevensonians decided to do him 

honor in the city of which he was so fond. 

News of the death of Robert Louis reached 

For thee the nevj coasts, gleaming, gleaming 
For us the hope, the plunge, the engulfing 
Oh, land! and set thy beacon on the Hill, 
Our pilot into Light! 

Commander John B. Montgomery of the U. S. Navy, who 

carried out Commodore Sloat's instructions by making 

Verba Buena American territory seventy-nine years ago 

William A. Leidesdorff. U. S. Vice-Consul at Verba Buena, 

who co-operated with Commander Montgomery in 

the memorable events of July 9, 1846 


July, 1925 

San Francisco on the first of January, 1895. 
It made a profound impression upon the few 
San Franciscans who had known him person- 
ally, and upon hundreds who loved him for 
his books. 

The emotions of Bruce Porter found ex- 
pression in clay. That very morning he 
shaped in his studio the first model of the 
Stevenson fountain. A shaft surmounted by 
a galleon was the original design, essentially 
the design of the completed memorial. The 
late Willis Polk visited Bruce Porter that 
afternoon, and the two friends worked over 
the model. 

The memorial itself was a happy inspira- 
tion; happy also was the thought of placing 
it in the old Plaza. A committee was formed 
to gather subscriptions, consisting of Mrs. 
Virgil Williams (who had been a witness at 
the Stevenson marriage), Mayor James D. 
Phelan, Horace G. Piatt, Louise Imogen 
Guiney, and Bruce Porter. 

The Stevenson Fountain — the world's ear- 
liest monument to R. L. S. — was unveiled in 
the Plaza October 17, 1897. It consists of a 

granite shaft thirteen feet high topped by a 
bronze galleon under full sail. "To Remem- 
ber Robert Louis Stevenson," the inscription 
reads, and then follows the famous excerpt 
from the "Christmas Sermon," — "To be 
honest, to be kind," etc. 

Travelers from afar go to the Plaza to 
see this memorial, and every year the Steven- 
sonians of San Francisco meet there for a 
simple ceremony on the birthday of R. L. S. 
One year — about 1902 — the little group in- 
cluded Jules Simoneau, Stevenson's friend 
of the Monterey days, and Miss Annie Ide 
(Mrs. Bourke Cockran), to whom Stevenson 
had so quaintly made over his birthday when 
she confided to him the disadvantage of hav- 
ing been born on Christmas. 

Many poems have been inspired by the 
Stevenson Memorial. In addition to the son- 
net by Wallace Irwin given here, there are 
fine verses by William O. McGeehan, Bliss 
Carman, and John Northern Hilliard. The 
tribute by Bruce Porter appeared in The 
Lark, June, 1895, while the memorial was 
still in the making. 

Rainfall in the 'Say Region 

By I. E. Flaa, Office Engineer 

THE study of rainfall is one of the 
branches of hydrology. Daniel W. Mead, 
Professor of Hydraulics and Sanitary Engi- 
neering at the University of Wisconsin, has 
defined hydrology thus: "Hydrology treats 
of the laws of the occurrence and distribu- 
tion of water over the earth's surface and 
within the geological strata, and of its sani- 
tary, agricultural, and commercial relations," 
from which we see that water in all its forms 
plays a very important part in the develop- 
ment of the human race. 

The water on the earth and in the sur- 
rounding atmosphere is continually in mo- 
tion; from the surface of the oceans and 
other bodies of water on the earth there is a 
constant evaporation taking place, due to 
the heat of the sun. This water in the form 
of vapor rises to higher levels; there it is 
cooled by the cold currents of air and re- 
turned to the earth's surface again in the 
form of rain, snow, hail, and dew. In these 
various forms it replenishes the parched sur- 

face, causing vegetable growth, runs down 
rivers to the sea, is used by man in commerce, 
and is harnessed and caused to turn the 
wheels of industry. But the most important 
use of water is its consumption by man and 
beast to sustain life, and in this last use we 
are particularly interested. 

Most rain-storms on the Pacific Coast 
come off the North Pacific Ocean and travel 
in an easterly direction across the mountain 
regions to the valley of the Mississippi. 
These storms have two motions: a forward 
motion and a rotary motion. They rotate 
around their own center counter-clockwise — 
that is, from right to left — and have a for- 
ward motion from west to east. The center of 
a storm is an area of low atmospheric pres- 
sure. As water flows from a high to a low 
point, so does air travel from a region of 
high pressure to one of low pressure, caus- 
ing winds. When a storm is approaching us 
off the Pacific Ocean from the northwest, the 
wind is blowing from the southeast, and 


Recording thermometer and barometer used by Spring 
Vallev Water Co. at Sunol, Alameda County 

after the storm has passed to the southeast 
the wind comes from the north. Thus by ob- 
serving the atmospheric pressure (by the 
aid of a barometer) and wind direction, one 
is fairly able to forecast the approach of 
storms that have already formed out on the 
Pacific Ocean. 

The United States Weather Bureau ex- 
plains this in a note printed on their "Daily 
Weather Map," as follows: 

"Wind-barometer Indications. — When the 
wind sets in from points between south and 
southeast and the barometer falls steadily, 
a storm is approaching from the west or 
northwest, and its center will pass near or 
north of the observer within 12 or 24 hours 
with wind shifting to northwest by way of 
southwest and west. When the wind sets in 
from points east and northeast and the ba- 
rometer falls steadily, a storm is approaching 
from the south or southwest, and its center 
will pass near or to the south or east of the 
observer within 12 or 24 hours with wind 
shifting to the northwest by way of north. 
The rapidity of the storm's approach and its 

intensity will be indicated by the rate and 
the amount of the fall in the barometer." 

Therefore, contrary to the general belief, 
rain-storms do not approach from the direc- 
tion from which the wind is blowing, but 
from the opposite direction. 

The Spring Valley Water Company main- 
tains twenty-five or more United States 
Weather Bureau standard rain-gauges scat- 
tered over the system, on which daily read- 
ings are observed. These readings are for- 
warded monthly to the engineering depart- 
ment, where they are tabulated and used as 
one of the factors in determining future de- 
velopments. These rain-gauges consist of a 
funnel, a receiver attached to the smaller end 
of the funnel, an overflow vessel, and a 
measuring-stick. The rain is collected in the 
large open end of the funnel and flows into 
the cylindrical receiver attached to the 
smaller end, and is there measured by the 
stick. The relation of the diameter of the 
open end of the funnel to that of the receiver 
is such that the readings are magnified ten 
times. That is, ten inches measured in the 
receiver are equivalent to one inch of actual 
rainfall, while a tenth of an inch in the re- 

-gauge used by Spring 
Pleasanton. Alameda Count} 



July, 1925 

Taken apart, the standard rain-gauge consists of (A) over- 
flow vessel, (B) receiver, (C) funnel, and 
(D) measuring-stick 

ceiver is equivalent to a hundredth of an 
inch of rainfall. 

In the vicinity of San Francisco and over 

the Spring Valley Water Company's system 
practically all the precipitation is in the 
form of rain that occurs during a six-month 
period, from November to April. This rain 
is collected in storage reservoirs, and also 
fills up the underground sources, and is then 
drawn from these reservoirs and under- 
ground sources for use in supplying the city 
of San Francisco during the six months' 
rainy season, as well as for the remaining 
six months when there is no replenishment. 

Not only are the storage reservoirs re- 
quired to supply water during the six months' 
dry season of every year, but also to keep a 
sufficient quantity of water on hand to carry 
over several years in which the rainfall is be- 
low normal, as was the case in the three years 
just past. 

From a continuous record of seventy-six 
years, from the year 1849 to date, published 
by the United States Weather Bureau, San 
Francisco has an average rainfall of 22.23 
inches, with a maximum of 49.27 inches, for 

(Continued on page 13) 


Contributions to the annals of Livermore Valley, a region rich in 
historical lore — a region, too, from which San Francisco, through 
Spring Valley Water Company, derives part of its water supply. 


The First "Qringo" of Alameda £ounty 

By the Editor 

THE Livermore Valley and the town of 
Livermore were named after Robert 
Livermore, the first "gringo" to settle in 
that part of the Contra Costa now known as 
Alameda County. 

A man of strong character was Robert 
Livermore, and greatly beloved by the na- 
tive Californians, who called him affection- 
ately Don Roberto. 

Robert Livermore was born in Bethnal 
Green, London, in 1799. Bethnal Green is 
in the East End, not far from London Docks, 
and the youngster probably watched the 
crowded shipping of the Thames until he 
came to yearn for something better than the 
mean streets of that miserable district. At 
any rate, he left Bethnal Green as cabin-boy 
on a vessel bound for the other side of the 
world, and he never returned. On the west 
coast of South America he served under the 
great Lord Cochrane, afterwards the Earl 

of Dundonald. Too bad Don Roberto did not 
take the trouble to write down an account of 
that exciting service! 

After a brilliant but stormy career in the 
British Navy, Lord Cochrane, in 181 7, ac- 
cepted the invitation of the Chileans, then 
in revolt against Spain, to take command of 
their naval forces. He remained in their serv- 
ice until 1822 and contributed largely to 
their success. Robert Livermore may have 
been with him in November, 1820, when he 
captured the Spanish frigate "Esmeralda" 
in the harbor of Callao, an achievement of 
signal daring. In 1823 Lord Cochrane trans- 
ferred his service to Brazil, where he helped 
the Emperor Dom Pedro I to shake off the 
dominance of Portugal. By the end of 1825 
Lord Cochrane had fallen out with the 
Brazilians, and he returned to Europe. 

When or why Robert Livermore left the 
service of Lord Cochrane we do not know, 

July, 1925 



The Livermore Valley as mapped officially for Alameda County in 1S79. The lagoon, to the left, is mentioned fre- 
quently in early accounts. It disappeared when the land was reclaimed by drainage. In this part of the old Rancho 
El Valle de San Jose, Spring Valley Water Company now operates its Pleasanton pumping station, 
an important unit of the San Francisco water supply 

nor are we sure of the date of his arrival in 
California. Some say it was in 1820, others 
in 1823. As to how he arrived, there are 
three accounts. We are told that he reached 
California in a whaling-vessel, and deserted 
at Santa Cruz with a companion named 
Julian Wilson. Two accounts have him set- 
ting foot ashore for the first time in Monte- 
rey ; one says that he deserted from the Eng- 
lish brig "Colonel Young," the other that he 
arrived there in a hide-drogher. 

The matter is not important, except as 
showing how difficult it is, after one hundred 
years, to ascertain with accuracy the exact 
facts about a California pioneer, even though 
he be as famous as Robert Livermore. 

Certainly Robert Livermore had had his 
fill of the sea. He succumbed to the fascina- 
tions of California life, and, apparently, 
never quitted the state. 

He turned his hand to the work that pre- 
sented itself. At the Pueblo of San Jose he 
became acquainted with Jose Noriega. The 
"little Englishman," as Livermore was call- 
ed, and the native Californian became firm 
friends and partners, their association con- 

tinuing for years. "Having worked for some 
time in the vicinity of the pueblo on the 
ranch of Juan Alvarez," says M. W. Wood 
in his "History of Alameda County," "and 
there acquiring the Spanish language, he 
soon became a great favorite among the 
Mexicans [the historian means by this the 
Californium], his fair hair and captivating 
manners making him especially liked among 
the gentler sex." 

At the Rancho Agua Caliente, or Warm 
Springs, he became acquainted with the Ful- 
gencio Higuera family, and married Josefa, 
daughter of Jose Higuera. 

We next hear of Livermore, in company 
with Noriega, building an adobe home and 
raising stock in the Sunol Valley. "It is pre- 
sumable," says Wood, "that in his wander- 
ings after his cattle or game he became 
familiarized with the locality, and from the 
summit of one of the adjacent lomas first 
cast longing and loving eyes upon the fair 
vale which bears his name today." 

Livermore moved to that "fair vale'* in 
1835, an d devoted himself to the raising of 
horned cattle, horses, and sheep. At first he 



July, 1925 

was greatly harassed by Indians, who stole 
and slaughtered his cattle, and sometimes 
threatened his family. At such times Don Ro- 
berto sought protection at the home of Don 
Jose Maria Amador, his nearest neighbor. 

In 1839 the Rancho Las Positas of two 
square leagues was granted to Noriega and 
Livermore. As afterwards patented in the 
United States Courts, this rancho contained 
8880 acres. Don Roberto acquired Noriega's 
share of Las Positas, and lived there until 
his death in February, 1858. He was sur- 
vived by his wife and eight children. The 
adobe home built by Don Roberto near Posi- 
tas Creek remained until 1875, a landmark 
of the county. 

Don Roberto was not a very rich man 
when he died. In 1859 his estate, according 
to the books of the County Assessor, was val- 
ued at $28,300. That same year Don Jose de 
Jesus Vallejo headed the list of the county's 
rich men, with a valuation of $190,050. 

During the gold rush Don Roberto played 
host to many argonauts. Halley, Alameda 
County's best historian, points out that his 
home was on the favorite route to the mines. 
He writes: "Travel, at first, was nearly al- 
together by land, and the Livermore Pass be- 
came one of the principal routes to the mines. 
The Coast Range was crossed at the Mission, 
and the road led through Sunol Valley, 
Livermore Valley, the Livermore Pass, and 
was across the San Joaquin River to Stock- 
ton as traversed by Moraga just after the 
occupation of San Francisco; thence to Sut- 
ter's Fort, at the junction of the Sacramento 
and American rivers, which soon became the 
city of Sacramento." 

Before gold was discovered in California, 
Edwin Bryant had published at New York 
his book "What I Saw in California," the 
journal of a trip across the continent in 1846 
and 1847. This rare book contains the best 
account of the Livermore home and of the 
surrounding country. 

"The Livermore Valley 
in 184.6 

By Edwin Bryant 

LEAVING Dr. Marsh's about three o'clock, 
ji p. M., we traveled fifteen miles, over a 
rolling and well-watered country, covered 
generally with wild oats, and arrived at the 

residence of Mr. Robert Livermore just be- 
fore dark. We were most kindly and hospit- 
ably received, and entertained by Mr. L., 
and his interesting family. After our mules 
and baggage had been cared for, we were in- 
troduced to the principal room in the house, 
which consisted of a number of small adobe 
buildings, erected apparently at different 
times, and connected together. Here we found 
chairs, and for the first time in California, 
saw a side-board set out with glass tumblers, 
and chinaware. A decanter of aguardiente, a 
bowl of loaf-sugar, and a pitcher of cold 
water from the spring, were set before us; 
and being duly honored, had a most reviving 
influence upon our spirits as well as our cor- 
poreal energies. Suspended from the walls of 
the room were numerous coarse engravings, 
highly colored with green, blue, and crimson 
paints, representing the Virgin Mary, and 
many of the saints. These engravings are 
held in great veneration by the devout Catho- 
lics of this country. In the corners of the 
room were two comfortable-looking beds, 
with clean white sheets and pillow-cases, a 
sight with which my eyes have not been 
greeted for many months. 

The table was soon set out, and covered 
with a linen cloth of snowy whiteness, upon 
which were placed dishes of stewed beef, 
seasoned with chile Colorado, frijoles, and a 
plentiful supply of tortillas, with an excellent 
cup of tea, to the merits of which we did 
ample justice. Never were men blessed with 
better appetites than we are at the present 

Mr. Livermore has been a resident of Cali- 
fornia nearly thirty years; and having mar- 
ried into one of the wealthy families of the 
country, is the proprietor of some of the best 
lands for tillage and grazing. An arroyo, or 
small rivulet fed by springs, runs through his 
rancho, in such a course that, if expedient, 
he could, without much expense, irrigate 
one or two thousand acres. Irrigation in this 
part of California, however, seems to be en- 
tirely unnecessary for the production of 
wheat or any of the small grains. To produce 
maize, potatoes, and garden vegetables, irri- 
gation is indispensable. Mr. Livermore has 
on his rancho about 3500 head of cattle. His 
horses, during the late disturbances, have 
nearly all been driven off or stolen by the 
Indians. I saw in his corral a flock of sheep 

(Continued on page 14) 

July, 1925 



San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 
Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. IV July, 1925 No. 3 

THE importance to general health of cul- 
tivating a habit of water-drinking was 
the subject recently of several articles con- 
tributed by Al Williams, an expert condi- 
tioner of men, to the San Francisco Bulletin. 

"The kind of water you drink plays an 
important part in keeping you in good physi- 
cal condition," writes Mr. Williams. 

"In San Francisco we are very fortunate. 
The Spring Valley water is one of the best of 
any city. I can vouch for this, as I have 
traveled practically in every large city of the 
United States, and the water here is certainly 
appetizing and enjoyable and healthful. 

"Any doctor will tell you that many of our 
ills and physical depressions are caused 
through lack of drinking enough water. 

"It is important to drink a certain amount 
of water, just the same as it is important for 
you to eat, breathe fresh air, and exercise. 

"There are many theories as to when one 
should or should not drink water. Personally, 
I follow the dictation of the feeling of thirst, 
and I drink water at any time I feel the need 
of it, at meals or at any other time when the 
inclination and suggestion demand it. 

"I have heard people say that fat people 
should not drink a great deal of water. I have 
analyzed this theory, and found that by 
drinking more water and eating less, doing 
more exercise, one can reduce very safely and 
bring the body to a natural physical condi- 

"It is claimed that the body is composed 
of sixty per cent water. A great deal of the 
water in the body is from the foods we eat; 
so for the life of me I cannot quite under- 
stand how water can be harmful when it is 
used in moderation and common sense, at 
any time, regardless of the condition of the 
individual, provided, of course, that he has a 
desire for it." 

Since Wallace Irwin popularized the Eng- 
lish of "the Japanese schoolboy," there have 
been many examples of the weird Nipponese 
distortion of our mother tongue, but not all 
of them have been genuine. The following 
letter is vouched for by the always veracious 
gentlemen of the Water Sales Department : 

San Francisco, May 6, 1925 
Spring Valley Water Co. 
Gentlemen : 425 Mason St. 

I believing your co. made mistaken to charge 
$2.51 to march 24 by bookkeeper or meter reader 
because no leaking during the month and at some 
month your agent came to examination for leaking 
he also phoned no leaking at all. 

also phoned you mistaken that another street 
some nomber 611 including letter tells 

also phoning your record shows monthly pay- 
ment average. 

I send back your bills the letter to compare, 
please send bill again I will pay at once after you 
looked your side, and remain 

Yours truly, 
S. Tsuchiya 

611 Larkin Street. 

* * * 

"The water [of Edinburgh] is excellent, 
though, I'm afraid, not in sufficient quantity 
to answer all the purposes of cleanliness and 
convenience. . . . The water is brought in 
leaden pipes, from a mountain in the neigh- 
borhood, to a cistern on the Castle-hill, from 
whence it is distributed to public conduits 
in different parts of the city; from these it is 
carried in barrels, on the backs of male and 
female porters, up two, three, four, five, six, 
seven, and eight, pairs of stairs, for the use 
of particular families." — Humphrey Clinker. 

* * * 

Rainfall in the Bay Region 

(Continued from page 10) 

the season 1 861-1862, and minimum of 7.42 
inches, for the season 1850-185 1. 

According to Alexander AIcAdie: "The 
greatest 24 hours' rainfall in San Francisco 
occurred on January 28, 1881, when 4.67 
inches fell. The next greatest w r as on Septem- 
ber 24, 1904, when 3.56 inches fell. The 
longest rainless period was in 1903, when no 
rain fell from April 16 until October 9 — 
175 days. In 191 1 there was no rain from 
June 6 to October 1 — 116 days." 

Last year, 1924, with the exception of a 
hundredth of an inch that fell on August 18, 
there was no rain from April 4 to October 4 
— a period of 184 days. 



July, 1925 

The Livermore Valley 



(Continued from page 12) 

numbering several hundred. They are of 
good size, and the mutton is said to be of an 
excellent quality, but the wool is coarse. It 
is, however, well adapted to the only manu- 
facture of wool that is carried on in the 
country, — coarse blankets and serapes. But 
little attention is paid to hogs here, although 
the breeds are as fine as I have ever seen 
elsewhere. Beef being so abundant, and of a 
quality so superior, pork is not prized by 
the native Californians. 

The Senora L. is the first Hispano- Ameri- 
can lady I have seen since arriving in the 
country. She was dressed in a white cam- 
bric robe, loosely banded round the waist, 
and without ornament of any kind, except 
several rings on her small delicate fingers. 
Her complexion is that of a dark brunette, 
but lighter and more clear than the skin of 
most Californian women. The dark lustrous 
eye, the long black and glossy hair, the na- 
tural ease, grace, and vivacity of manners 
and conversation, characteristic of Spanish 
ladies, were fully displayed by her from the 
moment of our introduction. The children, 
especially two or three little senoritas, were 
very beautiful, and manifested a remarkable 
degree of sprightliness and intelligence. One 
of them presented me with a small basket 
wrought from a species of tough grass, and 
ornamented with the plumage of birds of a 
variety of brilliant colors. It was a beautiful 
specimen of Indian ingenuity. 

Retiring to bed about ten o'clock, I en- 
joyed, the first time for four months, the 
luxury of clean sheets, with a mattress and 
a soft pillow. My enjoyment, however, was 
not unmixed with regret, for I noticed that 
several members of the family, to accommo- 
date us with lodgings in the house, slept in 
the piazza outside. To have objected to sleep- 
ing in the house, however, would have been 
considered discourteous and offensive. 

September 18. — Early this morning a bul- 
lock was brought up and slaughtered in 
front of the house. The process of slaughter- 
ing a beef is as follows : A vaquero, mounted 
on a trained horse, and provided with a lasso, 
proceeds to the place where the herd is graz- 
ing. Selecting an animal, he soon secures it 

by throwing the noose of the lasso over the 
horns, and fastening the other end around 
the pommel of the saddle. During the first 
struggles of the animal for liberty, which 
usually are very violent, the vaquero sits 
firmly in his seat, and keeps his horse in such 
a position that the fury and strength of the 
beast are wasted without producing any other 
result than his own exhaustion. The animal, 
soon ascertaining that he cannot release him- 
self from the rope, submits to be pulled along 
to the place of execution. Arriving here, the 
vaquero winds the lasso around the legs of 
the doomed beast and throws him to the 
ground, where he lies perfectly helpless and 
motionless. Dismounting from his horse, he 
then takes from his leggin the butcher-knife 
that he always carries with him, and sticks 
the animal in the throat. He soon bleeds to 
death, when, in an incredibly short space of 
time for such a performance, the carcass is 
flayed and quartered. 

Leaving Mr. Livermore's about nine 
o'clock, a.m., we traveled three or four miles 
over a level plain, upon which immense herds 
of cattle were grazing. When we approached 
they fled from us, with as much alarm as 
herds of deer and elk. From this plain we 
entered a hilly country, covered to the sum- 
mits of the elevations with wild oats and 
tufts or bunches of a species of grass, which 
remains green through these hills, and more 
sumptuous grazing they could not desire. 
Small streams of water, fed by springs, flow 
through the hollows and ravines, which, as 
well as the hill-sides, are timbered with the 
evergreen oak and a variety of smaller trees. 
About two o'clock, p.m., we crossed an arroyo 
which runs through a narrow gorge of the 
hills, and struck an artificial wagon-road, 
excavated and embanked so as to afford a 
passage for wheeled vehicles along the steep 
hill-side. A little farther on we crossed a 
very rudely-constructed bridge. These are 
the first signs of road-making I have seen 
in the country. Emerging from the hills, the 
southern arm of the Bay of San Francisco 
came in view, separated from us by a broad 
and fertile plain some ten or twelve miles in 
width, sloping gradually down to the shore of 
the bay, and watered by several small creeks 
and estuaries. 

We soon entered through a narrow street 
the mission of San Jose, or St. Joseph. 

July, 1925 



The c Pleasanton T^ace Track 

By William Whalen 

IN 1874 the Spanish landowners in the 
Livermore Valley were still in possession 
of a fair amount of their landholdings, viz: 
the Bernals, the Livermores, the Sunol 
family; but the Amador family and the 
Alviso family had parted with their posses- 

The Indians on the Sunol Road at what 
was known as the "Rancheria," were very 
numerous at that time. They had picnics 
and dances, and they also had a temescal, 
a large excavation in the ground something 
like the Turkish bath; but now the Indians 
are all gone except about three that I know 

The land at that time was held principally 
by the Bernals and Samuel B. Martin. Abijah 
Baker held nearly all the land on the south 
side of the road from Santa Rita to Dublin, 
reaching as far south going to Pleasanton 
as the Joe Black Ranch, which in 1889 was 
purchased by Mr. E. R. Lilienthal, the hop- 

The Pleasanton Race Track, and all the 
land around it, and the east side, where 
Pleasanton now stands, were held by the 
Bernals; also the Rose Hotel, which was 
quite a summer resort in those days. The 
Bernals held the place on the Hill Road on 
each side of the large creek, including the 
Hearst Ranch, where the Hearst home build- 
ing now stands, and nearly all the land 
around that place. The Pleasanton Race 
Track was the property of Fred Bernal; 
then came Andy Patterson, who leased the 
track. The track was built about 1877, and 
there were good entertaining races every little 
while. Then came Monroe Salisbury, who 
bought the track. Abijah Baker bought all 
the Samuel B. Martin property in the year 
1 88 1. During the time Monroe Salisbury 
had the Pleasanton Race Track there were 
large matinees attended by high-class racing 
sports of Oakland, San Francisco, and from 
Marin County and Santa Clara County; in 
fact, they came from all over. The matinees 
were held on Wednesday, Saturday, and 
Sunday. People came from all over to see 
some of the best horses in the world step the 
mile exhibition, guided by some of the great- 
est drivers in the world. There were such 

high-class drivers as Charles De Ryder, Mil- 
lard Sanders of Lou Dillon fame, Al 
Schwartz, Henry Smith, Henry Sanders, a 
brother of Millard, and the great old driver 
Ben Walker, and John McConnell, known as 
"Buster," who gave the great Sidney his 
record, and trained many of his colts both 
in Pleasanton and the East, and all over. 
And there were such trainers as Lee Shaner, 
McHenry, George Starr, Jim Dustin, and 
Ben Chaboya, and the great old driver 
James Sutherland, and his son-in-law, Fred 
Chadbourne, and Dick McMahon of 
Chicago, Dick Wilson and his son, Louis 
Wilson, and also the noted driver Kelley, 
who trained and drove the great Directum 
(record, 2 min. 4 sec). He was owned by 
the late John Green of Pleasanton Valley. 

Monroe Salisbury had seventeen well- 
bred mares and the great stud Director. He 
was sire of Little Direct, foaled at the race- 
track, trained by Andy McDowell, and later 
bought by Butler, millionaire merchant of 
New York. Directum, the great colt by 
Director, owned by the late John Green of 
that valley, held the world's record for some 
years. Also, the great dark-brown stud called 
Directwell, owned by Mr. Cunningham of 
Hayward, was raced there. These horses 
were all foaled, conditioned, wintered there, 
and raced on the grand circuit in the East 
in the summertime. 

I can only recall a very few of the many 
hundreds of high-class race-horses, such 

The great 


1 (2:04) was owned b 

v John Green of 


Ik- \va 

trained and driven b\ 

Kelley, a horse- 

nan pre 

minently identified wi 
Pleasanton track 

th the 



July, 1925 

Lou Dillon, the first two-minute trotter, with Millard 

Sanders of Pleasanton driving. This great chestnut mare 

was by Sidney Dillon, dam Lou Milton 

by Milton Medium 

horses as Flying Jib (2:02), Nancy Hanks, 
Little Albert, owned by Bradbury of Corte 
Madera, Mack Mack, owned and trained by 
the high-class trainer; Henry Herman, now 
manager of the Salinas Race Track. The 
Pleasanton Race Track at present has some 
very good race-horses in training — racers, 
trotters, and high-class runners. 

The Santa Rita Stock Farm, formerly 
owned by William and James D. Whalen, 
has been used for raising and breeding fine 
horses for about thirty-two or thirty-three 
years. Previously it was used for farming 
and dairying. 

W. O'B. Macdonough, owner of the great 
horse Ormonde, which had won the English 
Derby and for which Macdonough paid 
$150,000, had it on a lease for seven years; 
then it came back to Mr. Whalen, and a 
boarding, breeding, and pasturage farm was 
continued from the year 1900. Some of the 
first horses that came to live there were those 
owned by Butler of New York — the great 
stallion Little Direct and eighteen fine brood- 
mares and some high-class colts. The same 
month came Stice Brothers with about six- 
teen mares. The Stice string of horses came 
from Illinois. They also had two celebrated 
studs and some other young horses, and the 
next year the great stallion Stam B., the great 
son of Stamboul. They came to the Santa 
Rita Stock Farm with about forty mares, and 
stayed about three years. I also had the stal- 
lion Strathway, owned and managed by 
Major Sven Christenson. I also had Horacio, 
the great son of the great Midlothian. 

The place on the southwest, just outside 
the fence of Santa Rita Stock Farm, was 
known as the Count Valensin Stock Farm, 
also known as the De Lopez Farm, now 
owned by Major Sven Christenson. This is 

and has been for many years the home of 
many fine well-bred horses, such as Sidney, 
Shamrock, also the great running colt Articu- 
late, raised and owned by Mr. Ramon de 
Lopez — one of the greatest and gamest little 
horses of its size known. I can remember 
about fourteen good straight victories to his 
credit before he met with an accident which 
caused his death, and could write endlessly 
on fine horses, colts and mares, raised on 
and around my farm. I may mention the 
Bondsman and also Highland C, two splen- 
did horses owned by Captain McCann of 
Hood River, Oregon; also Lecco, owned by 
Ed Mills, and Alconda J., owned by Henry 

The Santa Rita Stock Farm is now owned 
and managed by Charles A. Hartwell of 
Honolulu, a gentleman of great wealth and 
love for fine horses — the very kind of man 
we need to promote the industry of horse 
raising and racing. He has at present a great 
many fine mares and colts, and also the great 
stallion War Shot, which horse he purchased 
from Major Sven Christenson. War Shot 
came to my farm about five years ago. He 
certainly is a great sire and producer of fine 
game colts, with good speed and wonderful 
endurance. His colts have shown up wonder- 
fully for their age; they seem to bring home 
the flour in the barrel and the bacon cooked. 

The climate at Pleasanton is particularly 
adapted to the raising of fine horses; it has 
the coolness of the coast without the warmth 
of localities lying farther east. The ocean 
breeze is broken and moderated by the sur- 
rounding mountains. There are no mos- 
quitoes, and practically no flies. There is a 
variety of natural grasses, green in the valley 
practically all the year round. The natural 
grass is also wonderful for dairy purposes. 
Alfalfa grows well. The water in the valley 
is most excellent. It can be pumped from 
the black gravel strata without boring to a 
very great depth. This gravel acts as a filter 
for the water, and it is very pure and cold. 
This is without doubt an important factor 
in the conditioning of live-stock in this lo- 
cality. The soil is mostly of a deep sediment, 
and extremely fertile. Climate, feed, and wa- 
ter are the main elements that have made this 
locality what it is, one of the most noted 
spots in the world for the breeding and train- 
ing of fine horses. The Pleasanton Race 
Track is conceded to be the best winter track 
in the world. 

Spring Valley Water Company 


F. B. Anderson 

Benjamin Bangs 

W. B. Bourn S. P. Eastman 

E. L. Eyre 

E. S. Heller 

C. Osgood Hooker Frank B 

King E. J. McCutchen 


A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 


i Chairman of the Board W. b. Bourn 


John J. Sharon 

President S. p. Eastman 

Assistant Secretary 

H. M. Kinsey 

i Vice-President a. h. Payson 

Office Manager 

O. E. Clemens 

Vice-President E. J. McCutchen 


F. P. Muhlner 

i Vice-President G. a. Elliott 


Benjamin Bangs 

Assistant Vice-President 

Theodore J. Wilder 


Comptroller f. p. Muhlner 

Assistant Manager, Water Sales Department V. E. Perry 

Assistant Auditor D. W. Cooper 

Chief Adjuster 

Frank P. Clark 

Chief, Collection 

C. I. Gavin 

Chief Engineer g. a. Elliott 

Manager, Docks and Shipping 

H. Templeman 

Assistant Chief Engineer T. W. Espy 
Office Engineer I. E. Flaa 

Superintendent Agricultural 

F. W. Roeding 

Assistant Superintendent 

C. H. Schween 

Superintendent, City 
Distribution George W. Pracy 

Assistant to Superintendent 

Frank Peters 

Assistant Superintendent O. Goldman 
Foreman, Service and Meter Joseph Kappeler 

Office Manager 

O. E. Clemens 

Foreman, City Distribution P. D. Rice 

Director of Publicity 

Edward F. O'Day 

Superintendent Water Division w. b. Lawrence 

Manager Real Estate 

Assistant Superintendent G. J. Davis 


Theodore J. Wilder 

Assistant Superintendent A. W. Ebright 

Hydrographer S. M. Millard 

Purchasing Agent 

J. H. Le Pla 






!*#*- , 

*-^- v -- . 







Again ! 

Another day of rain ! 

It has rained for years. 

It never clears. 

The clouds come down so low 

They drag and drip 

Across each hill-top's tip. 

In progress slow 

They blow in from the sea 

Eternally ; 

Hang heavily and black, 

And then roll back ; 

And rain and rain and rain, 

Both drifting in and drifting out again. 

They come down to the ground, 
These clouds, where the ground is high ; 
And, lest the weather fiend forget 
And leave one hidden spot unwet, 
The fog comes up to the sky ! 
And all our pavement of planks and logs 
Reeks with the rain and steeps in the fogs 
Till the water rises and sinks and presses 
Into your bonnets and shoes and dresses ; 

And every outdoor-going dunce 
Is wet in forty ways at once. 


It's wetter than being drowned. 


Such darkness never was found 

Since first the light was made. And cold? 

O come to the land of grapes and gold, 

Of fruit and flowers and sunshine gay, 

When the rainy season's under way ! 

And they tell you calmly, evermore, 
They never had such rain before ! 

What's that you say ? Come out ; 

Why, see that sky ! 

Oh, what a world ! so clear ! so high ! 

So clean and lovely all about ; 

The sunlight burning through and through, 

And everything just blazing blue. 

And look ! the whole world blossoms again 

The minute the sunshine follows the rain. 

Warm sky — earth basking under — 

Did it ever rain, I wonder ? 


SAIN i-mainuisuw 

Francisco Witer 


Spring Valley Water Company 



October, 1925 


The "Public's Use of Lands "Devoted to Its Service 

Bv S. P. Eastman, President 

THE operative properties of a public 
utility, as the name suggests, are de- 
voted to the public use in providing one or 
more of the services essential to life, indus- 
try, and agriculture. Such properties often 
include substantial and important landhold- 
ings necessary in the development of the par- 
ticular service in which the utility is en- 
gaged. This necessity of use is the para- 
mount necessity, and while other uses may 
not be, and frequently are not, inconsistent 
with the public or utility use, any additional 
use must be subordinated to that highest or 
public utility use. 

Spring Valley Water Company owns large 
holdings of various classes of land neces- 
sary for the gathering, impounding, and de- 
livering of water to San Francisco. When no 
injury can arise to the various water uses of 
its lands this Company has been desirous of 
enabling the public to enjoy the privilege of 
using its properties in the many ways that 
land peculiarly adapted to public enjoyment 
may reasonably permit. 

Prompted by this desire the Water Temple 
at Sunol was built, so that one-half of the 
city's supply, which passes through the 
Temple, may be observed; and a natural 
picnic and play ground was also opened up 
within the shadows of the Water Temple. 

The Niles Canyon below Sunol is one of 
the outstanding places of beauty near the 
transbay cities, and, as the water supply is 
diverted above the canyon, the Company has 
provided that it be developed and opened up 

for its length of five miles to camping and 
picnic grounds for the public to enjoy. 

In a similar way picnic grounds are made 
available to the public on the beautiful Pol- 
hemus property near San Mateo. 

This plan of inviting the public to use and 
enjoy lands devoted to water-supply pur- 
poses has greater possibilities. The extent 
depends on the appreciation of the public as 
evidenced by its co-operation. Such co-opera- 
tion must be both individual and collective, 
and in its collective aspect it should find re- 
sponsible leadership in the various public 
agencies, such as the State and Municipal 
Boards of Health, Park Commissions, Game 
and Police authorities, and County Legisla- 
tive bodies. 

The public, in developing this responsible 
co-operation through its public agencies, can 
make it practicable to extend the public's 
enjoyment of lands which first must dis- 
charge their duties in developing their func- 
tion for public service. Violators of public 
privileges, while few in proportion to the 
total which may enjoy privileges, neverthe- 
less are many in the aggregate, and this again 
emphasizes the need of responsible aid from 
the proper officers representing the public. 

Under an arrangement of adequate pro- 
tection, a plan might be developed for the 
creation of public parks and playgrounds on 
areas contiguous to reservoirs situated on the 
tops of various hills throughout San Fran- 
cisco. Similarly, the vast tract of land con- 
stituting the watershed properties of the 
Peninsula might be made a game refuge. 


A nook in the peninsular paradise that Spring Valley has gradually been developing into country homesites 

'Peninsular "Beauty -^pots 

By Theodore J. Wilder, Manager Real Estate Department 

MANY years ago Spring Valley Water 
Company acquired several hundred 
acres in Portola Valley for the purpose of 
increasing San Mateo County sources of San 
Francisco's water supply. As it was later de- 
termined that this land would not be neces- 
sary for water-supply use, the Company de- 
cided to make it available to those seeking 
country homesites. 

The natural attractions of Portola Woods 
(as this acreage was named) are so varied 
that they offer an inviting opportunity to the 
purchaser to develop according to his own 
tastes an ideal small "country estate" within 
an hour's run of San Francisco. 

Adjoining it on the south is the beautiful 
"Family Farm," the playground of a promi- 
San Francisco club ; and within a quarter of 
an hour's run is Stanford University, with 
its red-roofed Spanish-type buildings set in 
extensive grounds, which offers world-famous 

educational advantages as well as varied am- 
ateur sports. For the golf-lover the Menlo 
Park golf-course near by offers a splendid 
opportunity for play. 

The land is beautifully wooded and roll- 
ing, and so located that it is well protected 
by the mountains to the west from the fog 
and winds to which the coast is exposed, 
giving a mild, even climate. A more beauti- 
ful background could not be imagined than 
these Santa Cruz Mountains, with their 
wooded hills, always green, with blue 
shadows and marvelous cloud effects. The 
natural growth embraces a great variety of 
trees: the stately redwood, the pine, the 
spreading oak, the aromatic bay, the euca- 
lyptus, and the red-branched madrone. The 
California toyon, with its popular red ber- 
ries, and the manzanita and other wild 
shrubs grow thickly. In the spring the 
meadows are carpeted with wild flowers. All 

October, 1925 


Woods, the West Union and Polhemus tracts are Spr 
development and residential subdivi 

holdings destined for complete 

these combine to give delightful surround- 
ings and background for the outdoor life 
for which California is famous. 

The country is rich in lore of early Cali- 
fornia history. Don Gaspar de Portola passed 
through the valley on quest of a navigable 
harbor on the coast, and made camp near by. 
All the early explorers were enchanted by 
the natural beauties of this district. 

Great care was exercised in the subdivi- 
sion of this tract so that none of its natural 
beauties might be lost or marred, with the 
result that Portola Woods has become one of 
the most desirable suburban properties with- 
in a radius of fifty miles of San Francisco. 
This statement is substantiated by the fact 
that the major portion of the property has 
now been sold to twenty-eight individual 
purchasers, in parcels ranging from five to 
forty acres in size, the new owners being en- 
thusiastic over the possibilities presented for 
country-home building and landscape gar- 
dening. Water is supplied by a local com- 
pany to care sufficiently for all needs. 

Improvements have been completed on 

several holdings which indicate an effort to 
harmonize construction of houses, gardens, 
walks, and roads with natural contours. The 
remaining owners contemplate building per- 
manent homes in keeping with preceding 
development, so that Portola Woods will be- 
yond question prove an artistic addition to 
the Woodside district. 

The West Union and Polhemus tracts are 
two other large holdings of the Company re- 
maining unsold on the Peninsula. Considera- 
tion is now being given to the development 
and sale of these parcels. 

The West Union property consists of ap- 
proximately 1322 acres, and lies about four 
miles west of Belmont, adjoining the south- 
erly end of Crystal Springs watershed. This 
land is hilly and thickly grown with the 
same variety of trees as Portola Woods. On 
the west its wooded hillsides rise to meet 
the newly completed Skyline Boulevard, the 
beautiful scenic drive from San Francisco 
to Santa Cruz, which marks its western 
boundary. The general character of this par- 
cel lends itself chieflv to lars;e countrv estates 


October, 1925 


Si il I i 

of Mrs. Caroline Houser in Portola Woods 

and villa sites. It differs distinctly from Por- 
tola Woods in that it has more rugged as- 
pects, but enjoys the same freedom from fogs 
with consequent mildness of climate. The 
contrasts in topography are many, and its 
elevation gives a wonderful panorama of the 
peninsular plain and the southern end of 
San Francisco Bay. 

The Polhemus tract, which lies about four 
miles west of San Mateo and south of San 
Mateo Creek, comprises about 850 acres. A 
well-paved road leaving the State Highway 
at San Mateo traverses the property in such 

a way as to leave approximately half the 
total acreage on either side of it. The west- 
erly portion is hilly and beautifully wooded. 
Height and hollow are here pleasingly com- 
bined; there are clearings and wooded 
spaces. The easterly portion, while not so 
wooded, has great charm in its rolling hills 
and beautiful outlook. 

The entire property is especially desirable 
for subdivision in fairly large parcels. It 
offers the purchaser rustic seclusion, in spite 
of its advantageous proximity to centers of 

The Tost "Village of \§earsville 

INTIMATELY connected with beautiful 
Portola Woods is Searsville Lake, which 
covers a broad expanse of former valley land 
between Stanford University and the Moun- 
tain Home Road that runs from Woodside 
into Portola Valley. Searsville, like Crystal 
Springs, Pilarcitos, and San Andreas, is an 
artificial lake created many years ago for 
water-supply purposes. 

About 1887 Spring Valley Water Com- 
pany planned the construction of a tunnel 

24,500 feet long, from San Francisquito 
Creek to Crystal Springs Reservoir for the 
purpose of conveying the waters of the creek 
to the reservoir, and thus augmenting the 
storage there. This plan was later abandoned, 
and in its stead a dam was projected at 
Searsville together with a pipe-line that 
would carry five million gallons of water 
daily to the Belmont Pumping Station, 
whence the water would flow into San Fran- 
cisco. The original idea was to carrv the 

October. 1925 


dam to a height of 105 feet. It was built in 
1 89 1 to a height of fifty feet, giving a reser- 
voir capacity of 329.5 million gallons. The 
Searsville (or Portola) Reservoir, (it is 
; known by both names), was not further de- 
veloped, and was never connected with the 
Spring Valley system. 

Prior to the construction of the dam 
Spring Valley had of course acquired a very 
large acreage. Only the old-timers in that 
section of San Mateo County can visualize 
what happened when Spring Valley pro- 
ceeded to clear the projected reservoir site. 
To know at second hand that there was a 
flourishing village where Searsville Lake 
now spreads its placid waters is not the 
same by any means as to have seen the 
village itself, as imagination is slow in these 
matters to supply an adequate picture from 
no matter how complete a description. 

A flourishing village indeed was Sears- 
ville, born of the lumber business of that 
region. It had its day of prosperity and high 
life, and then, to quote Miss Lois Leary of 
Redwood City, who has prepared a paper on 
its history, and kindly placed it at the dis- 
posal of San Francisco Water: "It passed 
out of existence as completely as if swallowed 

up by the sea." The end came about thirty- 
five years ago, and today, doubtless, there 
are many living in that beautiful region who 
have never heard of such a village existing. 

To quote Miss Leary: 

"In the late '40 's there came to this part 
of San Mateo County a sturdy band of pio- 
neers who saw in the immense redwood for- 
ests that covered the mountain and the east- 
ern valley great promise for a lumber indus- 
try. They built crude mills and manufactured 
lumber and. shingles. Hundreds of the larg- 
est trees were in or close to Searsville, and 
so the site of the village was fixed. The 
woodsmen built homes there for their 
families. Hotels and stores followed. Then 
came the school, and by the middle '5o's 
Searsville was firmly established and gave 
promise of becoming a town of importance. 

"As the years wore on, lumber-making 
facilities improved and increased, and soon 
great forests of redwood giants had disap- 
peared, and one by one the mills closed down 
until none was left. Despite this serious set- 
back, the old village lived quite prosper- 
ously out of the farming industry that took 
the place of the lumber trade. 

"It was in 1890 that Searsville was given 

Natural and arch 

hand in hand in Portola Woods. This is the home of Mr. Xorward B. Smith 


October, 1925 

ind flower typical of Portola Wood 

its death-blow. Spring Valley Water Com- 
pany conceived the plan of storing the water 
of the streams near the village, and, by 
means of a tunnel, diverting it to Crystal 
Springs Lake west of San Mateo. The land 
of Searsville was purchased from its owners 
and work was begun on a concrete dam near 
the town. 

"In the following year, when the water 
backed up against the dam and began to 
flood the adjoining low lands, the good folk 
of Searsville realized that it was time to 
move. They made good use of the short time 
at their disposal, and inside of a week not a 
single house was left in Searsville. Some 
were demolished, some were moved away, 
fences were torn down, gardens were up- 
rooted, and when the work of destruction 
was complete there was hardly a vestige left 
of the lively old village." 

From an article contributed to the San 
Mateo Times-Gazette in 1891 further infor- 
mation about the town of Searsville is to be 
had. The article was written by James J. 

Swift, a most respected citizen of San Mateo, 
and a prominent figure in the political and 
journalistic life of the county. Mr. Swift, 
as a cub reporter on the Times-Gazette, 
drove from San Mateo to Searsville at the 
end of October, '91, to see the curtain rung 
down on the village. He wrote: 

"When a reporter of the Times-Gazette 
drove over that way yesterday all was bustle 
and activity. It looked as if the water would 
come up inside of twenty-four hours from 
the way that houses and barns were being 
torn down and fences removed. On the road 
just this side of Searsville was a small frame 
house mounted on a sled, drawn by six 
horses, slowly working its way toward high 
ground. This house was formerly owned by 
Charles McLaughlin, and was purchased 
from the water company by Harry Cutter, 
who conducts a saloon around the turn be- 
low Eikerenkotter's. A respectable frame 
house could be bought for from $5 to $50. A 
force of men were at work on Eikerenkotter's 
store taking it to pieces. The lumber will be 

October, 1925 


hauled to Redwood City and used sometime 
in the future in building a house on some 
lots owned by Julius Eikerenkotter. The 
hotel will stand and will be used by the 
water company. George Eikerenkotter will 
for the present go out of business. It is re- 
ported that the post-office will be taken by 
J. H. P. Gage, foreman for E. F. Preston, 
and will be located somewhere near the 
Preston place. The row of pretty cottages 
below the hotel has been torn down, the 
fences taken away, and the ornamental trees 
and shrubs and fruit trees removed. As the 
road leading from Eikerenkotter's Hotel and 
store toward Preston's will be partially sub- 
merged, a force of men has been engaged in 
la>ing out and building a new road from 
the hotel across the fields, which will join 
the old road near the foot of the mountain. 

"Three or four old-timers gathered near 
the hotel and mournfully gazed on the 
work of demolition, and as each familiar old 
landmark gradually faded away they be- 
came reminiscent, and the yarns they told of 
the life and bustle of that lively little burg 
of years ago would fill a big book — how the 
mill-boys used to come into town and spend 
Sunday afternoons at horse-racing, fighting, 
and other amusements ; of the famous games 
of poker and the high stakes that were 
wagered on the races. There was more life 
in Searsville then than there is now in all 
of the county. That was when the old men 
were boys; when dollars were as plentiful 
as dimes are today and everyone had more 
than he knew what to do with. But there 
came a day of degeneration for the little 
village. When the timber on the eastern 
slope of the mountains was used up, the 
mills closed down and their employees de- 
parted for other sections of the state. 

"There are but few of the sturdy pioneers 
now alive who first made their homes in 
Searsville. Among them are William Lloyd, 
John Sears, William Page and Joe Spauld- 
ing of Mayfield, William Smith and Dr. 
S. S. Stambaugh of San Francisco, Morris 
Doyle, and some others whose names could 
not be learned. 

"It is said that the first settler there was 
a man named William Brown, who pur- 
chased a portion of the Coppinger grant and 
called it the Mountain Home Ranch. In 
July, 1852, John Smith came and resided 
there continuously up to a few years ago, 

when he returned to Sweden, his native 
land. The next year brought August Eikeren- 
kotter, who started a store, and shortly after 
the birth of his daughter, Mrs. Klumpp, 
built the fine hotel that still stands. All of 
Mr. Eikerenkotter's children, except Charles 
and Edward, were born and raised at Sears- 
ville. John Sears of La Honda came in 1853, 
and also started a hotel. He afterwards sold 
out to Moses Davis, father of Alf and Steve 
Davis. This hotel stood near the bridge be- 
low Eikerenkotter's. It was burned a good 
many years ago. About the same time Denis 
Martin came and entered largely into the 
lumber business. The name Searsville was 
suggested by a journalist who visited the 
place in 1854 and wrote several articles de- 
scriptive of it for the San Francisco Alia. 
William Lloyd came in 1856. He was en- 
gaged to come from San Francisco to move 
one of Denis Martin's mills over the moun- 
tain. He concluded to make his home at 
Searsville, and moved his wife and one child 
(now Mrs. Townsend) down from San 
Francisco, and has lived there up to a short 
time ago. Mr. Lloyd is a blacksmith, and 
shortly after his arrival started a shop. In 
1857 Daniel Ford moved up from Redwood 
City, also starting a forge, and remained a 
few days before moving back to Redwood. 
Air. Lloyd is full of reminiscences of Sears- 
ville's early days and tells many interest- 
ing stories of its old residents. 

"Among the mills that were run in the 
vicinity were the Mountain Home mill, 
Denis Martin's two mills, the Smith mill, 
the Mastick mill, Spaulding's mill, and 
Templeton's mill. All of the lumber cut by 
them was hauled through Searsville, and all 
of the employees spent their money there, 
and this was no small item. 

"Searsville lost its importance when the 
mills closed down, but during recent years 
has attracted the attention of many wealthy 
people in search of homes, and around it 
have been built up numbers of beautiful 
residences. Its hillsides are dotted with trees 
and vines, and nowhere in the state can be 
found more attractive scenery or a more 
healthful climate. The new order of things 
will rather increase than diminish its at- 

"Vale, Searsville! It is gone with all its 
pleasant memories and associations, living 
onlv in memory." 

NtAij nij.% 


October, 1925 

^** ** 1VH3^B7wM Mi JHfl J J 1 (I'l'il ~7T ~ 


: '{AsMjrfte^ bJtS&4 

r sb 7" ,J "^''^* ; " ffi -..|^f^l^l^l!fe^Bfctt^^^^M-^. 

?-!£p(l§£f : '•^r- 4 * 

The interpla 

idow was sough 
the propert; 

A Fight with a Qrizzly "Bear 

IN 1920 there was privately printed in San 
Francisco an attractive brochure entitled 
"A Woodside Reminiscence, as told by Griz- 
zly Ryder." The author was Cutler L. Bon- 

It is the authentic story of how Bear Creek 
and Bear Gulch at Woodside received their 
names. And it is a story that surrounds with 
a certain glamour of romance the ancient 
adobe house that still stands on the estate of 
Mr. John A. Hooper, Woodside. This adobe, 
built in 1835, is pictured on the cover of this 
issue of San Francisco Water. 

Mr. Bonestell relates his chance meeting 
with "Grizzly" Ryder in an antique shop in 
Springfield, Massachusetts. This was in 
1 9 14, when Ryder was eighty-two years old. 
He died in 19 17. The nickname came from 
Ryder's famous,.encounter with a grizzly, as 
the result of which he had lost the upper 

portion of one ear and had scars all over his 

Mr. Bonestell tells the story as follows: 

I turned to Ryder and asked, "What part 
of California are you from?" He said: "I 
lived the greater part of my life in Califor- 
nia, about thirty miles south of San Fran- 
cisco, and I will draw a map and show you 
just exactly where my house was located." 

He then took a piece of paper, drew quite 
an accurate map of the country lying south 
of San Francisco, and indicated Woodside 
as the particular locality where he lived. I 
became interested at once, on account of ray 
own familiarity with that neighborhood, and 
said that I would like to hear more about his 
early experiences. As I had ample time, he 
proceeded to relate the following: 

"I enlisted for the Mexican War and after 

October, 1925 



the termination of that started west for Cali- 
fornia, with a man named Tripp." 

I there interrupted him and said, "Do you 
mean Dr. Tripp?" whom I had known as a 
child, living in Woodside, and who had con- 
tinued to live there until a very few years 
ago. He said, "Yes, Dr. Tripp," and con- 

"We finally reached California, came to 
San Francisco, which was then practically 
a bustling village, and as neither Tripp nor 
myself cared for city life, particularly as it 
was then being carried on in San Francisco, 
and realizing the great demand for lumber 
of all kinds, we decided to locate south of 
San Francisco, where lumber was plentiful, 
and engage in the lumbering business. We 
settled at Woodside, traveling to that point 
from San Francisco on horseback. At that 
time there was but one house between the 
Mission Dolores and the little town now 
called Redwood City, which at that time was 
called the Embarcadero — the name being de- 
rived from the fact that the lumber which 
was cut along the mountains in that neigh- 
borhood was hauled to this point, where a 
slough made up from the bay was located, 
and was there floated down and finally 
reached San Francisco. The way we used to 
float the logs was to tie several together, 
launch them at the flood of the tide and they 
would float out with the ebb. We would then 
anchor them so that the incoming tide could 
not float them back, and so continue until 
we had reached the bay. Keeping close to the 
shore, we followed the same tactics until 
finallv we would land our logs at San Fran- 

cisco; at least, those of them which were not 
lost in transit. 

"There were at that time — or at least soon 
after — five sawmills located within a radius 
of two miles around Woodside, as there was 
plenty of redwood timber to be had, many of 
the trees growing quite a distance into the 
valley. Tripp and I lived together and em- 
ployed a gang of men engaged in cutting out 
piles for some of the San Francisco wharves, 
which were then being constructed. 

"As is well known, that section of the 
country was much infested with grizzly 
bears, particularly a little farther south, 
back of what is now known as Palo Alto. 
One morning we discovered that a pair of 
our oxen had disappeared — evidently 
strayed; and being unable to find any trace 
of them in the neighborhood of our camp, 
we concluded that they had strayed south 
along the base of the mountains, into what is 
now Portola Valley. There was a rich growth 
of pasture-grass there, and it would be a 
natural place for strayed animals to remain. 
We knew that there were many grizzly bears 
in that neighborhood, and realizing the dan- 
ger the animals ran in being unprotected in 
that district, it was determined to go at once 
and seek them. 

"I started out from the camp in the early 
morning, with a young Mexican boy, who 
was to accompany me. As we would have to 
search over a considerable area, we did not 
take horses, but traveled along the well- 
beaten trail on foot. It was agreed between 
the boy and myself that we should meet at a 
certain rock which was plainly to be seen 

The Mountain Home Ranch was the property of E. W. Burr, a Searsville lumberman. It is now the Folger estate in 
Woodside. This picture is from Moore and De Pue's Illustrated History of San Mateo County, published in 1878 

10 SAN FRANCISCO WATER October, 1925 

and well known. The meeting was to be at 
sunset. We also agreed that if either of us 
found the oxen, he was to drive them to the 
camp without waiting for the other, and the 
remaining one going to the rock, as agreed, 
at sunset, and the other not arriving, it would 
be known that the oxen had been found and 
driven to camp. 

"I hunted about all day without success, 
and finally arrived at the rock about sun- 
down, to await the young boy, and remained 
there for some time after the sun had set, 
but the boy did not appear. I naturally con- 
cluded that he had found the oxen and 
driven them to camp, as we had agreed. So, 
in the pleasant evening air I started along 
the trail towards camp, and I remember par- 
ticularly, as I walked along where the trail 
turns sharply to the west, an enormous red- 
wood tree. I stopped and looked at it and 
thought that as soon as I had a little time, I 
would make some money by cutting it into 
shingles, which were in demand for the 
quicksilver mines at that time projected at 
Almaden. I continued along the trail a short 
distance beyond that tree, where there was 
an adobe occupied by a Mexican and his 
family. He also employed an old Indian 
woman about the premises, and an old sailor 
who had run away from his ship in San 
Francisco Bay. The old adobe," Ryder con- 
tinued, "was built in 1836, and is now the 
property of a Mr. John A. Hooper. 

"I went into the house and sat there chat- 
ting for some time when I realized, and 
finally, as I got up to leave, I noticed, that it 
was quite dark. There was, however, suffi- 
cient light from the young moon still shining 
over the mountains to make the trail entirely 
distinct, and I knew that I had not a great 
distance to walk before reaching our camp at 
Woodside. As I started to go out the Mexi- 
can said, 'Ryder, are you armed?' to which 
I replied, 'I have my knife, but I have no 
other weapon; why do you ask?' 'Well,' the 
Mexican replied, 'you might meet a bear on 
the trail,' but I said, 'I do not think there is 
any danger,' so proceeded along the trail on 
my way home. About half-way between the 
adobe and our camp was a little stream 
called, at that time, by a Spanish name 
which I have forgotten, and where the stream 
ran across the trail, the ground being some- 
what level, it spread out and formed some 
little pools, and it was at one of those that I 
intended to refresh mvself with a drink of 

water. That stream is now called Bear Creek, 
taking its name from the incident which I 
am about to relate, and is the present source 
of supply of the Bear Gulch Water Com- 

"I knelt down and took a long, delicious 
draft of the cool water, and as I looked up 
I could just see the moon sending its last 
beams through the redwoods before it set be- 
hind the mountains. Realizing that I must 
hurry, I arose quickly to my feet, and as I 
did so, I perceived a large object very close 
to me, which I thought at once was one of 
the cattle. Lifting my arms, I shouted to it, 
and before I had time to make any move- 
ment, the thing, to my horror and surprise, 
arose upon its hind feet and grabbed me 
around the body. I realized that I had met a 
grizzly bear. Fortunately, the animal was 
probably as greatly surprised as I was, and 
grabbed me quite high up about the shoul- 
ders, so that my right arm was comparatively 
free. I at once loosened my sheath knife and 
proceeded to plunge it into the beast. She 
then let go and struck me a blow. I say 'she' 
because even in those moments I realized 
that there were two cubs about my feet. The 
blow felled me at once and as the ground 
sloped sharply away from the mountains at 
this point, I proceeded to roll down a sort of 
embankment towards the brush. The bear 
pursued me, striking at me and biting me; 
but it was evident that the cubs, who also 
proffered their assistance, got in her way 
more or less; otherwise I never would have 
reached the bottom of the declivity alive. 
Although suffering great pain, I retained 
consciousness and thought of that old saying 
that if one will lie perfectly still, a bear will 
not molest one ; so I made no outcry, but as I 
reached the edge of the brush, I lay perfectly 
still. The old bear sniffed at me once or 
twice, then dealt me a blow with her paw 
and went away and left me. I lost conscious- 
ness and how long I lay in that condition I 
do not know, but finally became aware of a 
voice which seemed to be away up in the air, 
calling my name. I could hear this faint 
sound, 'Ryder, Ryder!' and just had suffi- 
cient strength to make a faint moan in reply. 
I then fainted again and did not recover 
consciousness until I came to in the adobe, 
with those who lived there about me, trying 
to do what they could to stop the flow of 

"It appears that the young lad who went 

October, 1925 



Eikerenkotter's store and hotel were at the center of Searsville activity in the old days before the village dis- 
appeared. The site of these obliterated landmarks is west of the Woodside Road at its intersection with the Menlo 
Park and Searsville (or Mountain Home; Road 

with me in search of the oxen got lost and did 
not reach the rock where we were to meet 
until long after sundown. He then hastened 
along the trail towards the camp and reached 
the adobe a short time after I had gone on. 
He left immediately and hastened after me. 
He had only gone from the house a very 
short time, when the inmates were surprised 
to have him come tumbling in through the 
half-open door saying that he had seen the 
devil and two bears fighting in the brush. 
The Mexican realized what had probably oc- 
curred and grabbed a lantern to see if he 
could arrive in time to be of any assistance. 
It seems that the bears had torn my clothing 
entirely off, which gave the impression to 
the young Mexican that he had seen the 
devil. It is to the arrival of my friend from 
the adobe that I owe the fact that I am here 
at all. 

"The first step, of course, in my predica- 
ment, was to stop the flow of blood, if possi- 
ble, which was pouring in a stream from a 
gash in my thigh. The only sure way would 
be to sew up the wound. The sailor said he 
had a sail-needle, and if they would give 
him some string he would sew it up. The 
string was found and he proceeded to carry 

out what he had proposed. Of course, he 
sewed over and over, as you would a sail, 
and each time the needle went in I thought 
it was going clean through my body and 
coming out on the other side. Even with his 
crude implement he made a successful job 
of it and the bleeding was stopped. In the 
meantime, the old Indian woman had gone 
out and found some herbs with which she 
was familiar, which she proceeded to steep. 
Some of them were applied as an outside 
poultice and some of them were made into a 
tea which I was given to drink. While it 
seemed impossible that I should live, for 
a time, on account of the seriousness of my 
injuries, I gradually began to gain, and so, 
in time, from having to lie on my back and 
look at the walls and ceiling, I was able to 
get into a chair. Never will anything be so 
beautiful to me as the sight of the redwoods 
which I could see through the window the 
first day I was able to leave my bed. The 
constant care of those who had so kindly 
undertaken the burden of my sickness grad- 
ually caused me to improve, and shortly I 
could, without assistance, hobble from the 
bed to a chair in one of the other rooms. 
"One day, while I was sitting enjoying 



the scene through the window, a knock came 
at the door and in walked a man with a 
small box under his arm. He said, 'I am 
looking for a man named Ryder.' I replied, 
'That is my name; what do you want?' 
He said, T am a doctor from San Jose. Some 
men in a logging-camp wrote and told me 
there was a man here who needed attention 
and asked me what my charge would be for 
coming out. I told them, they sent the money, 
and here I am. I want to look you over.' I 
told him I would be very glad to have him 
do so, and he proceeded to make an examina- 
tion of my wounds. After he got through, he 
said, Tf I had not seen you alive, I would 
not believe that it was possible. I find you 
in very good condition with the exception of 
that leg, which, owing to the injury of the 
thigh and the impossibility of your receiving 
proper medical attention, will have to come 
off, and I shall proceed to amputate it at 
once.' I said, 'Well, Doctor, this is a great 
surprise and shock to me and I wish you 
would give me half an hour to think the 
situation over and prepare myself, and if 
you will go into the other room where the 
family are, and give me that time, I shall be 
ready for you.' I made up my mind at once 
that I was not going to submit to any opera- 
tion. If I was going to live, I was going to 
live; and if I was going to die, I was going 
to die; but in either case it would be with 
all my arms and legs. I realized, however, 
that I was helpless and could not prevent 
the doctor from doing what he thought was 
necessary, so I attracted the attention of one 
of the children playing outside and when the 
lad came in I told him to take a horse and go 

up to the camj) and tell two men whose 
names I gave him to come at once and bring 
their guns with them. As you can well under- 
stand, we had various kinds of people in 
our camp and some of them were rather 
desperate. The two I had sent for were 
desperadoes, but very good friends of mine. 
It was a great relief to me when I heard the 
sound of horses outside and the two men 
came in. I told them the circumstances; that 
I did not want to be operated on; that I 
would not have my leg amputated, and I 
wanted them to insist (by force, if necessary) 
upon the doctor's going away and leaving 
me alone. They said they would do as I 
wished in the matter. I then called out and 
told the doctor I was ready to see him, and 
when he came in I told him I would not be 
operated on. He said, 'Yes, you will; you'll 
do as I tell you.' I said, 'No, I will not. 
My mother's son is not going to either live 
or die without all the arms and legs which 
God originally gave him, and here are two 
friends of mine who are going to see that you 
do as I tell you.' The doctor looked at the 
two men and they said yes, that I was right. 
He saw at once that it would be useless to 
use either force or argument. He then said, 
'Well, if you want to be a damn fool, you 
will die, and that's the end of it. I have done 
what I agreed to and I am through.' He then 
went out and mounted his horse, and that 
was the last I ever saw of him. 

"I continued to improve, though slowly; 
gradually recovered entirely, and while I 
have only half an ear on one side of my head, 
I still am hale and hearty, and would be 
happy if I could go back to California." 


T>e Aquis Urbis T^omae" 

By George E. Tonney, Engineering Department 

ABOUT midway between Rome and Na- 
Xx. pies, in a picturesque country abound- 
ing in history and traditions, stands the 
monastery of Montecassino. For centuries it 
has been on the natural line of communica- 
tion between the north and the south, and, 
between intervals of tranquillity, it has had 
to suffer at the hands of invading armies. 
In the fourteenth century alone it was sacked 
three times. 

Long has Montecassino been renowned 

for its unique and valuable collection of 
manuscripts. So it happened that in the year 
1400, Poggio Bracciolini, in search of works 
of ancient writers, visited the monastery, and 
was rewarded by the discovery of numerous 
codices of the greatest importance. His most 
important find was an original manuscript 
in two books entitled "De Aquis Urbis 
Romae," written thirteen hundred years pre- 
vious by one Sextus Julius Frontinus, Water 

(Continued on page 13) 

October, 1925 



San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 
Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. IV October, 1925 No. 4 

Charles I. Gavin 

This Company lost a beloved and efficient 
official when Charles I. Gavin, manager of 
the collection department, died on Septem- 
ber 11, 1925. The sorrow caused throughout 
the Company by Mr. Gavin's death was in- 
tensified by the fact that he passed away at 
the early age of thirty-nine years. 

Mr. Gavin had been in the Company's 
service for sixteen years, starting as a coun- 
ter clerk. In 1922 he married Miss Margaret 
Howell, their romance having started when 
Miss Howell was employed by the Company 
as a cashier. 

Mr. Gavin was quiet, unobtrusive, and 
had an unusual talent for handling details 
of organization and operation. As an official 
no less than as a friend he is deeply missed 
bv his associates. 

When Mr. Gavin found it necessary to 
take a leave of absence last May, his illness 
caused very deep concern, and it is evidence 
of the sincere affection in which he was held 
that the company personnel from the presi- 
dent down kept close watch upon his condi- 


uc De Aquis Urbis %oi 

(Continued from page 12) 

Commissioner of Rome, appointed to office 
in the year 79 a.d. As the title of the work 
implies, it is a treatise on the aqueducts of 
ancient Rome. 

The "De Aquis'' is a unique manuscript 
in the sense that at the time of its discovery 
no other manuscript of the work was known, 
nor has any come to light since. The work 
consists of fifty-one pages of closely written 
matter, perfectly legible after the passage of 

Our knowledge of ancient institutions is 
gathered not so much from formal writings, 
but rather by piecing together isolated and 
often conflicting testimony, drawn from 
writers of different ages, races, temperament, 
degrees of knowledge and credibility. How 
interesting it might be for our present-day 
discussions if people of other ages had left 
us chronicles of their political and religious 
institutions, club activities, poetry, music, 
decrees of fashion, cosmetics, cooking re- 
cipes, social entertainments, and other topics 
for the edification of our knowledge and 
curiosity. That Frontinus left us just what 
we want to know was recognized by Brac- 
ciolini 525 years ago. The value of the "De 
Aquis" is determined by the fact that it is 
about the only work of its kind in existence. 

The treatise is very concise, but definite 
in detail. It gives the history and description 
of the Roman water system, its construction 
and condition; states how much water is 
used for fountains, state uses, private uses 
and grants; gives the sizes of taps; tells how 
the water is measured; and gives rules of 
maintenance. The completeness of the report 
is indicated by the introduction, a portion 
of which reads as follows : 

"That I may not by chance omit anything 
which is necessary for the understanding of 
the whole subject matter, I will first put 
down the names of the waters which are 
brought to the city of Rome; then by what 
persons, and under what consuls, and in 



October, 1925 

Claudia and Anio Novus of the great Roman water system, with the Alban Hills in the background. Claudi 
built of dimension stone; Anio Novus, on top of it, of small stone and concrete 

what year since the founding of the city each 
of them was brought in; then at what places 
and at what milestones their aqueducts com- 
mence; how far they were carried in under- 
ground channels, how far on masonry sub- 
structures, and how far on arches; — what is 
the law with regard to the construction and 
maintenance of the aqueducts; what penal- 
ties enforce it under the laws, votes of the 
Senate, and Imperial edicts that have been 

Frontinus split his workaday hours in 
three ways — supervising the maintenance of 
the system, writing reports, and combating 
crookedness. Toward this last he had the 
attitude of a true investigator, ferreting out 
theft and correcting abuses and mismanage- 
ment. Obviously his predecessors had been 
men of questionable honesty, and, through 
negligence, the system was in default. 

When Frontinus took office the system 
was maintained by two labor gangs of over- 
seers, reservoir-keepers, levelers, pavers, and 
plasterers. The State gang was maintained 
from revenues from the sale of water-rights. 
Caesar's gang received its money for lead 
and construction necessaries from the coffers 
of the Emperor. The two gangs, aggregating 
seven hundred men, had long since been put 

on private work by dishonest foremen. In 
order to bring about discipline and efficien- 
cy, day by day each man was told what to 
do, and at the end of the day had to put into 
the record an account of what had been 

Estates which bordered on the mains ac- 
quired water by surreptitiously tapping the 
channels for their own purposes. Frontinus 
states: "The amount of water gained by 
the suppression of this evil may be measured 
by the enormous quantity of lead pipe we 
have dug up where we have discovered this 
illicit commerce." 

We infer that water-rights were sold to 
individuals who in turn sold and distributed 
the water to the consumers. The owners of 
these rights received their water through two 
sizes of pipe — one seven inches in diameter, 
the other eight inches in diameter — and they 
supplied their consumers through four-inch 
pipe. Here another evil was current, for 
these water-barons cleverly replaced the 
seven-inch with one enlarged by ten per 
cent and the eight-inch by one enlarged by 
fifty per cent, at the same time reducing the 
size of the consumers' four-inch pipe. As 
water was measured by flow, these barons 
were getting seventy per cent more water 

October, 1925 



than they were rightfully entitled to. Fron- 
tinus refers to these men as "law violators 
to whom a violation of the law had become 
a second nature." 

There was so much water stolen or wasted, 
and the methods of measurement and ac- 
counting were so uncertain, that Frontinus 
caused new gauges to be installed and a 
rigid system of inspection established. By 
this method he found the capacity of the 
aqueducts was only 12,700 quinariae against 
14,000 supposedly in use by record. In this 
investigation he found that forty per cent of 
the city supply was either wasted or stolen. 

The materials for repairs to the aque- 
ducts and the expenses incurred had to be 
borne by the nearest resident. In this respect 
we can draw on our imagination as to what 
actually occurred when the bill-collector 
came around. Referring to repairs, Frontinus 
states: "Repairs that can be carried on 
without cutting off the use of waters of the 
aqueduct consist primarily of masonry work, 
which should be executed at the right time 
and conscientiouslv." 

Frontinus was water commissioner at a 
time when the aqueduct system had nearly 
reached its fullest expansion, embracing no 
less than nine aqueducts with over 240 miles 
of conduits. Acting up to his responsibilities, 
dispensing justice with propriety and reason 
according to a high code of ethics, Frontinus 
excites our admiration. He administered an 
extensive and intricate system covering many 
miles of territory, and he did it with sin- 
cerity, honesty, and industry. 

The Roman water system consisted of 
eleven aqueducts. The Appia, the first to be 
constructed, was built in the year 312 B.C. 
The four most important were the Vetus, 
273 B.C.; Marcia, 144 B.C.; the Novus and 
Claudia, 38 to 52 a.d. The Novus is the 
longest of all aqueducts, being sixty-two 
miles in length, and is constructed of brick 
masonry lined with concrete. The Claudia 
is built of cut stone of huge dimensions, its 
noble and impressive arches stretching across 
the plains of Campagna for some nine miles 
and reaching a height of 109 feet at the out- 
skirts of the city. The Claudia has a tunnel 

Sand and pebble catch-tanks on line of Marcia Aqueduct, near Tivoli. The catch-tanks are of small stone, 
Marcia of dimension stone 

16 SAN FRANCISCO WATER October, 1025 

three miles in length, with a cross-section of 
three by seven feet. This tunnel was built 
by hammer and chisel and by building a fire 
against the heading and throwing water on 
the hot rock. Part of the present city system 
is supplied by three ancient aqueducts, which 
have undergone repairs and restorations. 
One of the modern aqueducts of the city was 
built in the year 1585, largely of material 
from the ruins of the Claudia. 

One aqueduct received its supply north of 
the city, the others from the east and the 
southeast. The Vetus and the Novus secured 
their supply from the Anio River. The Mar- 
cia and the Claudia had their source in 
springs that flowed an enormous quantity of 
water. The discharge capacity of the total 
of these aqueducts is extremely problem- 
atical. Estimates and calculations made by 
different engineers van- from 60,000,000 
gallons to 400,000,000 gallons per twenty- 
four hours. Herschell, an American engi- 
neer, makes the estimate of 84,000,000 gal- 
lons — 54,000,000 used within the city and 
30,000,000 without. He calculated that the 
Claudia and the Novus each could carry 
16,800,000 gallons. The daily consumption 
in the city he put at 20,000,000 gallons, or 
thirty-eight gallons per inhabitant. In the 
distribution system the water was supplied 
through lead, stone, and terra-cotta pipe. 
Some of the lead pipe was as large as eight- 
een inches in diameter. 

With the decline of the Roman Empire, 
and with the centuries of spoliation that fol- 

Claudia and Anio Novus near Porta Furba. Repairs were 
done in brick and in a composite of concrete and brick 

lowed, the system fell into decay and ruin. 
Two thousand years have passed, the topog- 
raphy of the country has changed consider- 
ably, and seismic disturbances have caused 
the valley to rise and become distorted. De- 
spite detached ruins covering many miles of 
territory, engineers are unable to reconstruct 
the whole system on paper. But Frontinus 
has assisted us in a fair understanding of it. 

The Baths of Caracalla, the largest building in ancient Rome. One of the major problems of Water Corami 
Frontinus was to supply sufficient water for huge establishments like this 

■ — 

Spring Valley Water Company 


F. B. Anderson 

Benjamin Bangs 

W. B. Bourn S. P. Eastman 

E. L. Eyre 

E. S. Heller 

Robert G. Hooker Frank B. 

King E. J. McCutchen 


A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 


' Chairman of the Board W. B. Bourn 


John J. Sharon 

j President S. P. Eastman 

Assistant Secretary 

H. M. Kinsey 

! Vice-President a. h. Payson 

Office Manager 

0. E. Clemens 

Vice-President E. J. McCutchen 


F. P. Muhlner 

j Vice-President G. A. Elliott 


Benjamin Bangs 

Assistant Vice-President 

Theodore J. Wilder 


! Comptroller f. p. Muhlner 

Assistant Manager, Water Sales Department V. E. Perry 

Assistant Auditor D. W. Cooper 

Chief Adjuster 

Frank P. Clark 

Chief, Collection 

A. W. Till 

Chief Engineer G. a. Elliott 

Manager, Docks and Shipping 

H. Templeman 

Assistant Chief Engineer T. W. Espy 

Superintendent Agricultural 

Office Engineer I. E. Flaa 


F. W. Roeding 

Assistant Superintendent 

C. H. Schween 

Superintendent, City 
Distribution George w. Pracy 

Assistant to Superintendent 

Frank Peters 

Assistant Superintendent O. Goldman 
Foreman, Service and Meter Joseph Kappeler 

Office Manager 

O. E. Clemens 

Foreman, City Distribution P. D. Rice 

Director of Publicity 

Edward F. O'Day 

Superintendent Water Division w. b. Lawrence 

Manager Real Estate 

Assistant Superintendent G. J. Davis 


Theodore J. Wilder 

Assistant Superintendent A. W. Ebright 

Hydrographer S. M. Millard 

Purchasing Agent 

J. H. Le Tla 


CORIOLANUS ' II ' 3 ' 246'250 






I 111 * HI 





H lira ^U 





San Francisco- California. 

JAN.- 1-1926. 


TOTAL -|j 



TOTAL - 4J^~" 



'AN Francisco I^ater 


Spring Valley Water Company 


Volume V 

January, 1926 


The "Water ^upply of \§an Cjfrancisco 

By George A. Elliott, Vice-President and Chief Engineer 

THE city of San Francisco is supplied 
with water by the Spring Valley Water 
Company, a public service corporation sub- 
ject to regulation by the California State 
;Railroad Commission. The developed ca- 
pacity of the system in 1925 is 66 million 
gallons daily, and the consumption about 
42 ) 2 million gallons daily. About 1 ^4 million 
gallons daily of this amount is used along 
the route of the transmission lines outside of 
San Francisco. The Company owns 81,681 
acres of land, consisting of watershed prop- 
erty and land overlying the subterranean 
sources as well as reservoir sites and that 
used in connection with the structures neces- 
sary for water-supply purposes. In the trans- 
mission of water from the sources to the dis- 
tributing system use is made of 7 miles of 
tunnels, 13.8 miles of flumes and concrete 
aqueducts, and 90 miles of riveted pipe rang- 
ing in diameter from 30 inches to 54 inches. 
There are 713 miles of pipe in the city dis- 
tributing system, supplying 91,000 service 
connections and 4683 fire hydrants. 

The present supply is derived from catch- 
ment reservoirs in Alameda, San Mateo, and 
San Francisco counties, and from wells in 
the Livermore Valley and infiltration gal- 
leries in the Sunol Valley, both valleys being 
situated in Alameda County. The region in 
the vicinity of San Francisco is designated 
as semi-arid, and past experience has proved 
the necessity for a storage capacity equal to 
three years' demand in order to continue the 
supply through the dry cycles which occur 
with regularity. This requirement, together 
' with the fact that, typical of California 
streams in this vicinity, all of the run-off 

occurs in the winter season of December to 
April, has made it necessary to build large 
storage reservoirs. The total storage capacity 
of the Company is 64,800,000,000 gallons. 
The Company owns practically the entire 
drainage tributary to the reservoirs in San 
Mateo County, the habitation on the drain- 
age being limited almost entirely to its em- 
ployees, a circumstance of great importance 
in preventing contamination of the water. 

The Peninsula supply, as those sources 
situated in San Mateo and San Francisco 
are known, consists of four reservoirs. Pilar- 
citos Reservoir is situated about midway be- 
tween the Pacific Ocean and the Bay of San 
Francisco, about eleven miles south of the 
city. An earth dam seventy feet high, built 
across Pilarcitos Creek in the year 1867, im- 
pounds the run-off from 5.2 square miles of 
watershed, creating a lake which holds 
1,000,000,000 gallons of water. The dam, 
with slopes of 2)/ 2 and 2 to 1, was con- 
structed as a dry fill, with a puddled-clay 
core, the earth being spread in thin layers 
and rolled. 

The reservoir is at an elevation of ap- 
proximately 700 feet above sea-level. The 
surrounding hills are at a much higher ele- 
vation, reaching 1875 ^ eet > an d their slopes 
are covered with a heavy tree and brush 
growth. The average annual rainfall of 49 
inches, the largest precipitation at any point 
of the water system, usually provides a 
greater annual run-off than can be stored in 
the lake, and the surplus is allowed to pass 
on through tunnels and flumes to either San 
Andres or Crystal Springs reservoir. 

San Andres Reservoir is located in the 


next valley to the east of Pilarcitos and 
about two miles to the north. The dam was 
constructed in 1868 in the same manner as 
Pilarcitos, its height being 95 feet. The ca- 
pacity of the reservoir is 6,000,000,000 gal- 
lons, and the average annual rainfall is about 
40 inches. The drainage area directly tribu- 
tary to the reservoir is 8.4 square miles. The 
run-off from about one square mile of the 
upper area drained by San Mateo Creek, 
which is naturally tributary to Crystal 
Springs Reservoir, is diverted by means of 
the Davis Tunnel through the ridge to the 
west of San Andres and finds its way into 
San Andres Reservoir. 

Crystal Springs Reservoir occupies the 
lower portion of the same valley that con- 
tains San Andres, and is about thirteen miles 
south of San Francisco. It was formed by 
the construction of a concrete dam 154 feet 
high, containing 157,200 cubic yards of con- 
crete, built in 1887-90. Crystal Springs Res- 
ervoir has a total length of about seven miles, 
a storage capacity of 22,500,000,000 gallons, 
and an average annual rainfall of 29 inches. 
The lake is divided into two parts by an 
earth dam built three miles from its south- 
ern end in 1877, creating the original Crys- 
tal Springs Reservoir. The concrete dam was 
built of interlocking blocks. The blocks are 
40 feet long, 8 feet high, and 30 feet wide. 
Alternate blocks were built in place, and the 
spaces between them afterwards filled in 
with concrete in order to minimize the effect 
of the shrinkage due to the setting of the 
concrete. The dam was built with sufficient 
dimensions so that it can be raised in the fu- 
ture without adding to its thickness. This is 
a very valuable feature, as large storage in 
the vicinity of San Francisco is very desir- 
able, due to the distance water must be 
brought to meet the future needs of the city. 

The combined average daily production 
of Pilarcitos, San Andres, and Crystal 
Springs reservoirs is 18 million gallons. 

Lake Merced, in the southwest corner of 
San Francisco, is a natural lake whose ca- 
pacity was increased to 2,500,000,000 gal- 
lons by the construction of an earth dike 
about 15 feet high across its outlet. It is 
situated about half a mile east of the Pacific 
Ocean, practically at sea-level. Water reaches 
it through the medium of an average annual 
rainfall of 23 inches, which falls on the 
sandy drainage area through which it perco- 

lates, finally entering the lake in the form of 
springs. All surface drainage which might 
enter Lake Merced is diverted around the 
reservoir and carried off so as to decrease the 
danger of contamination. The normal daily 
productivity is 3^2 million gallons. 

The Alameda sources are all contained 
within the drainage area of Alameda Creek, 
a stream which drains over 600 square miles 
of watershed located in the Coast Range 
mountains on the east side of San Francisco 
Bay. The topography of the area varies 
greatly, ranging from the flat valleys of 
Sunol and Livermore, at elevation 220 feet, 
through rolling foothills to the rugged slopes 
of Mt. Diablo, Black Mountain, and Mt. 
Hamilton, at elevation 4209 feet above sea- 
level. The rainfall varies from a minimum of 
15.26 inches at Livermore to 30.50 inches 
at Mt. Hamilton. Due to the large drainage 
area, the average annual run-off is 47,000,- 
000,000 gallons. The principal tributaries 
of Alameda Creek are the Arroyo Honda, 
draining 100 square miles; Upper Alameda 
Creek, draining 40 square miles; San An- 
tonio Creek, draining 39 square miles; 
Arroyo Valle, draining 150 square miles; 
Arroyo Mocho, draining 38 square miles. 
The two last-named streams cross the gravel- 
filled Livermore Valley and are the princi- 
pal sources of its underground supply. Unit- 
ing with other minor streams that flow into 
Livermore Valley, the Arrovo Valle and 
Arroyo Mocho form Laguna Creek, through 
which the run-off flows to Alameda Creek 
at Sunol. The Arroyo Honda, Upper Ala- 
meda, and San Antonio combine to make 
Calaveras Creek, which crosses the Sunol 
Valley to join with Laguna Creek, forming 
Alameda Creek, which flows down Niles 
Canyon to San Francisco Bay. 

Three storage locations are to be found 
on the principal tributaries of Alameda 
Creek, one of which has been developed on 
the Arroyo Honda, and is known as Cala- 
veras Reservoir. It is located about nine 
miles south of Sunol. An earth-and-rock 
dam, the lower portion of which was con- 
structed by the hydraulic-fill method, and 
the upper part with a rolled-clay core sup- 
ported by loosely placed rock, impounds the 
run-off from 100 square miles of watershed. 
The height of the dam is 220 feet above 
bedrock, and the capacity of the reservoir is 
32,800,000,000 gallons. Based on past rec- 


ords, the daily productivity at present is 
38,200,000 gallons. When the Upper Ala- 
meda Tunnel, which is now under construc- 
tion, is completed, the run-off of an addi- 
tional 40 square miles of drainage area will 
be transported a distance of 9700 feet into 
Calaveras Reservoir. 

The San Antonio and Arroyo Valle reser- 
voirs, projected for the future, are situated on 
the streams of their respective names. 

In addition to the surface storage describ- 
ed, the Spring Valley Water Company makes 
use of two underground sources of supply, 
known as Sunol and Livermore valleys. The 
Sunol Valley is a gravel-filled depression 
with a surface area of 1300 acres, located at 
the upper entrance to Niles Canyon, through 
which the entire drainage of the Alameda 
system of over 600 square miles must pass on 
its way to the Bay. A low dam at the can- 
yon entrance backs up the water in the 
gravels from which it is abstracted through 
an infiltration gallery. Water is taken from 
the Livermore Valley through the medium of 
wells ranging in depth from 50 to 600 feet. 
At the present time 75 wells are equipped 
with pumping units, which are operated 
when necessary. The Livermore Valley floor 
has an area of 35 square miles. Rainfall on 
an area of 412 square miles supplies the 
streams which pass through the valley. 

In transporting the water from the sources 
of supply to the city distributing reservoirs 
the principal medium is riveted pipe. The 
character of the water as well as the soil in 
which these pipes are laid is such that de- 
terioration has been slow. A part of the first 
pipe laid to bring Pilarcitos water to San 
Francisco was removed only a few years ago 
after a continuous use of over 50 years. Such 
flumes as are used are constructed of Cali- 
fornia redwood, which has a long life, and 
the tunnels, the longest of which is 7500 feet, 
are lined with brick or concrete. 

Pilarcitos water flows through 4921 feet 
of tunnels, 5280 feet of wood flume, and 730 
feet of 44-inch and 4488 feet of 22-inch 
riveted pipe into San Andres Reservoir. In 
the event of an overflow through the Pilar- 
citos wasteway, a dam about two miles down- 
stream diverts this flow into a conduit con- 
sisting of 5% miles of flume, i 3 / 10 miles of 
tunnel, and % n m ile of 44-inch pipe which 
carries it to San Andres. The outlet from 
San Andres Reservoir is a tunnel roughly 4 

feet wide, 6 feet high, and 2800 feet long. A 
44-inch pipe receives the water from this 
tunnel at elevation 367 feet and carries it to 
Baden, a distance of about 27,000 feet. At 
Baden this pipe divides into two 30-inch 
lines, one 43,000 feet long leading to College 
Hill Reservoir, with a capacity of 13,500,- 
000 gallons at elevation 255 feet, and the 
other 36,000 feet long, known as the Mer- 
ced branch, going to Central pump at ele- 
vation 190 feet, located at Sloat Boulevard 
and Twenty-third Avenue in San Francisco. 
The Merced branch passes through the 
Rancho de la Merced, an old Spanish grant, 
and a spur-line 16 inches in diameter en- 
ables water to be taken from the pipe and 
pumped to Lake Honda distributing reser- 
voir at elevation 370 feet by Ocean View 
pumps situated near the San Francisco 
county line. Ocean View pumps consist of 
two units with total daily capacity of 
6,000,000 gallons. This station can also take 
water from the College Hill branch, which 
passes just to the east of the pumps. A second 
spur from the Merced branch 22 inches in 
diameter carries water to City pumps on the 
shore of Lake Merced in San Francisco. 
City pumping station contains two units 
with a total daily capacity of 7,500,000 gal- 
lons, which pump either San Andres or Lake 
Merced water into Lake Honda. Central 
pump is a single unit with a capacity of 
8,000,000 gallons daily, which receives its 
supply from the end of the Merced branch 
and forces it to Lake Honda. 

Crystal Springs Reservoir at elevation 288 
feet delivers its supply through a 44-inch 
pipe 89,500 feet long to University Mound 
Reservoir in the southeast quarter of San 
Francisco. An electrically operated pumping 
station at Crystal Springs Dam can be used 
to pump the water through the pipe-line 
when the demand is greater than can be met 
by the ordinary gravity flow. This station 
also contains a second unit which may be 
used to pump Crystal Springs water to San 
Andres whenever necessary, through a wood 
flume 29,300 feet long built along the east 
slope of the valley occupied by these reser- 
voirs. At Millbrae a 10,000,000-gallon pump 
is so arranged as to take water from the 
Crystal Springs line and force it into the 
pipe carrying the San Andres water to San 

Water from the three sources of supply in 


the Alameda system, namely, Livermore and 
Sunol valleys and Calaveras Reservoir, is 
united at Sunol and carried through the same 
transmission system. The infiltration system 
consisting of 8985 feet of rectangular tun- 
nels with concrete tops and concrete-lined 
sides pierced with numerous 2-inch pipes, 
fed by 2725 feet of auxiliary perforated con- 
crete pipe 36 inches in diameter, with open 
joints, collects the supply from the water- 
filled gravels. The collecting system is below 
the surface of the ground water which is 
maintained by Sunol dam, a concrete struc- 
ture about 28 feet high at the valley outlet. 

The Calaveras supply is discharged from 
the reservoir through a 48-inch pipe laid in 
an outlet tunnel which pierces the west abut- 
ment of the dam. The water is allowed to 
flow down Calaveras Creek to Sunol, where 
it percolates through the gravels into the in- 
filtration system. 

The well supply from the Livermore Val- 
ley is abstracted from the underground 
gravels by pumps and discharged into a 30- 
inch pipe 28,000 feet long, which carries it 
to Sunol and delivers it into the main gallery 
of the infiltration system at the Water Tem- 
ple,, a structure of classic design which sur- 
mounts the basin at the meeting-point of the 
various sub-sources of the Alameda system. 

Beginning at the Water Temple, a con- 
crete conduit below the ground surface car- 
ries the supply to Sunol Dam. Passing 
through the interior of the dam from end to 
end, the water enters the first of five tunnels 
having a total length of 14,500 feet, which 
together with 11,400 feet of concrete conduit 
form the Sunol Aqueduct. This aqueduct 
has a total length of 4.9 miles and a capacity 
of 70,000,000 gallons daily. It delivers the 
water to the Niles regulating reservoir, which 
has a capacity of 5,000,000 gallons at an 
elevation of 181 feet. From Niles Reservoir 
two pipe-lines transport the supply on its 
way to San Francisco. The first is a 36-inch 
pipe 56,000 feet long which carries part of 
the supply to Dumbarton Point on San Fran- 
cisco Bay. The Bay is crossed by means of 
two 16-inch and two 22-inch submarine 
pipes, each 6400 feet long. The submarines 
have flexible joints permitting a movement 
of 21 degrees from a straight line in order 
to accommodate the pipe to the uneven floor 
of the Bay. On the west shore of the Bay an 
electrically operated centrifugal pump forces 

the water through 51,500 feet of 36-inch i 
pipe to the Belmont pumping station. Bel- 
mont pumps, consisting of seven steam- 
driven units with a capacity of 27,000,000 
gallons, force the water through 35,000 feet J 
of 36-inch pipe and 16,700 feet of 54-inch 
pipe to Millbrae, where the line is connected 
to the Crystal Springs-University Mound 
pipe. The second line from Niles Reservoir 
begins with a 44-inch pipe 15,600 feet long I 
which carries the water to a point near Irv- 
ington. From there the supply is transported 
through the Bay Division of the Hetch 
Hetchy Aqueduct built by the city of Sanj 
Francisco and used by the Spring Valley 
Water Company under an agreement with 
the municipality. The Bay Division Aque- 
duct begins near Irvington with a 60-inch 
pipe 48,500 feet long which runs to the 
east shore of San Francisco Bay at Dum- 
barton Point. The Bay crossing is made with 
a 42-inch cast-iron flexible-joint pipe for the 
first half-mile. The west end of the sub- 
marine pipe terminates in the bottom of a 
large concrete chamber, which also acts as 
the end pier for a steel span bridge about 
3000 feet long, supported by concrete piers, 
which carries a 60-inch pipe from the end of 
the submarine to the west edge of the Bay. 
From the end of the bridge to Crystal 
Springs Reservoir, into which the water is 
delivered, the line consists of 50,100 feet of 
60-inch pipe and a 10-foot tunnel 8700 feet 
long. An electrically operated pumping sta- 
tion with a daily capacity of 32,000,000 
gallons, located near the Bay, pumps the 
water into Crystal Springs Reservoir. 

The distributing system in San Francisco 
is necessarily complicated owing to the un- 
even topography of the city. San Francisco 
is essentially a city of hills. Covering an 
area of 46^2 square miles, it ranges in ele- 
vation from sea-level to over 900 feet. The 
hills do not rise gradually in easy slopes, 
but are abrupt and occur irregularly. Con- 
sequently the distributing-pipe system is di- 
vided by closed gate valves into a large num- 
ber of major and minor areas in order to 
avoid excessive pressure variations. A large 
amount of pumping is necessary after the 
water reaches the city. In 1924, 44 per cent 
of the consumption was pumped. The total 
installed pumpage capacity of the system is 
187,000,000 gallons daily, 35,000,000 of it 
in San Francisco. [Continued on page 2q\ 


Calaveras Reservoir dominates the trans-Bay (or Alameda) Division of Spring Valley's catchment system. It is 
replenished by the streams of a very productive watershed in the Mt. Hamilton spur of the Coast Range. Water 
is released into Alameda Creek, percolates through the Sunol gravels, and enters the Sunol Aqueduct. 

Calaveras Dam is one of the big earth-fill dams of the world. It 
has been converted into Calaveras Reservoir. The white tower he 
water through a tunnel to the creek channel below the dam. 

long narrow valley that 
it control the release of 


This picture, with that adjoining on page seven, presents a panoramic view of the Pleasanton region of Livermi 
Valley. Dotting this expanse are the wells by which Spring Valley taps the water supply underlying the valli 
This supply is pumped to the Water Temple, and flows with Calaveras and Sunol water to the Sunol Aqueduct. 

The Pleasanton pumping station is situated at the outlet of Livermore Valley. Hereabouts Spring Valley has 
operation some seventy-five wells to draw water from the underground gravels which are fed from a drainage area 
of 400 square miles. The pipe-line to the Water Temple at Sunol has a capacity of twenty million gallons per day, 


The watershed or catchment area tributary to the Alameda Division of Spring Valley extends from Alt. Diablo in 
Contra Costa County to Mt. Hamilton in Santa Clara County. Pleasanton is midway between the two. and the 
underground supply of these valley acres is replenished by streams that send their unabsorbed flow to Alameda Creek. 

Carfour: a place where four roads intersect. The Sunol Carfour is at the entrance to Spring Valley's Alameda 
County headquarters. To the left of the avenue that runs to the Water Temple is a walnut orchard; to the right, 
buildings occupied by the resident superintendent. These grounds are part of the old Sunol Rancho. 

The famous Water Temple at Sunol draws innumerable sightseers. Here may be seen "the meeting of the waters" 
— from Calaveras Reservoir, the Sunol infiltration galleries, and the Livermore Valley wells. Here these waters mingle 
and start on the long flow down Niles Canyon, across the Bay, and up the San Mateo peninsula to San Francisco. 

Beneath the floor of beautiful Sunol Valley are the infiltration galleries that gather the percolating waters of the 
gravel beds and deliver them to the Water Temple for the supply of San Francisco. This underground source is a 
natural reservoir and filter; the water is held back and forced into the galleries by Sunol Dam on Alameda Creek. 


Cottage is headquarters for the Alameda Division of Spring Valley. The three units of this division — Calaveras, 
nol, and Pleasanton — are directly controlled from this office. It is but a stone's throw from the Water Temple, and 
thin easy reaching distance of Calaveras Reservoir, Sunol Dam and Aqueduct, and the Pleasanton wells. 

Alameda Creek is a "flashy" stream that has torrential flows in the height of the winter rainy season. The water 
here seen wasting over Sunol Dam is now conserved, and its release controlled, by Calaveras Reservoir. The conduit 
from the Water Temple to the Sunol Aqueduct pierces the dam transversely. 



This picture, with that adjoining on page eleven, presents a panoramic view of Niles ( 
on a bench of the steep hillside, is the great concrete Sunol Aqueduct which carries Calav 
water as far as Niles. There the water passes through Xiles Reservoir to pipe-lines thai 

Dve the railroad, 
and Pleasanton 
across the Bay. 

At Ravenswood, on the Hay shore oi 
Division of Spring Valley. There ;i 
rest mi the bottom of the Bav. The 

submarine pipes emerge, carrying water from the Alameda 
ine pipes; they were constructed with flexible joints tc 
v Hermann Schussler, set an engineering precedent. 



Canyon is one of the great passes of California 
y. At the western outlet, "before the Gringo came 
old rights now belong to Spring Valley. 

leading from the Coast to the northern part of San Joaquin 
Don Jose de J. Yallejo maintained a primitive water supply; 

A down-stream view of Crystal Springs, the huge concrete dam that dominates the Peninsula Division of Spring 
Valley. In the foreground, the Crystal Springs auxiliary pumping station. Along the curving crest of this dam runs 
the Skyline Boulevard, immediately above the waters of Crystal Springs, largest of the peninsular reservoirs. 

Crystal Springs Reservoir was built to accommodate the run-off of its big watershed during the recurring periods of 
heavy rainfall. When the great reservoir is full to overflowing, the excess of water pours over the spillway into the 
channel of San Mateo Creek and finds its way to San Francisco Bay. 




The Bay Division of Hetch Hetchy Conduit begins at Irvington, crosses the Bay near Spring Valley's ] 
Dumbarton to Ravenswood, and terminates in Crystal Springs. Left: Spring Valley line enclosed in fh 
riection to City line where this leaves Ravenswood bridge. Right: The Niles-Irvington line. 

line, from 
with con- 



Ik* - 



■ ' ' 






jH|*. ^^H 

fk>i^uUJ$'ji. -f£> 


Spring Valley water from Calaveras Reservoir pouring through the City's Pulgas Tunnel into Crystal Springs 
Reservoir. Pulgas Tunnel is the western terminus of the Hetch Hetchy Conduit, and is used to deliver Calaveras 
water into the largest of Spring Valley's peninsular reservoirs. Eventually it will also deliver Hetch Hetchy water. 


Second in size of the three San Mateo County storage reservoirs is San Andres, which takes its name from a valley 
famous in the annals of the Spanish explorers. In 1S68 an earthen darn was thrown across San Andres Creek, forming 
this artificial lake. Though San Andres earthquake fault runs through the dam, it suffered no damage in 1906. 

Pilarcitos, high in the San Mateo County hills, was the first storage reservoir of Spring Valley, constructed in 1862 
and afterwards enlarged to its present size. Pilarcitos water formerly flowed direct to San Francisco, but now goes, 
to San Andres. The Pilarcitos region has the heaviest precipitation of all the peninsular watersheds. 



7wo miles below Pilarcitos, near the dividing-line between the oceanside and the interior watershed of the San Mateo 
lills, the Stone Dam was built to intercept the productive flow of streams that would otherwise waste to the Pacific, 
"his is perhaps the most charming spot to be found on all the Spring Valley properties. 

Midway between Pilarcitos and Stone Dam, beside Pilarcitos Creek, is the Pilarcitos picnic-ground provided for the 
pleasure of the public, with no restrictions save the observance of simple rules necessary on water supply properties. 
It is one among several picnic places maintained by Spring Valley in San Mateo and Alameda counties. 



Twenty-one million gallons of water flowing daily to San Francisco from the Alameda Division of Spring Valley 
passes through Belmont Pumps, twenty miles south of San Francisco. This is a strategic point on the line, for by the 
time water from across the Bay reaches Belmont it has exhausted its gravity momentum and needs "boosting." 

The Venturi meters at this station on the Highway twelve mile 
all the water that enters the City from Spring Valley sources 
pumping station, the headquarters for the Peninsula Division, 

south of San Francisco are master-meters, measuring 
This station stands at the entrance to the Millbrae 
Sunol is for the Alameda Division, of the Company. 



Laguna de la Merced ( Lake Merced ) is a broad expanse of water in the midst of a great rancho that extends from 
the southwestern corner of San Francisco into San Mateo County. It supplies a minor part of San Francisco's daily 
water needs, and is therefore carefully safeguarded by Spring Valley, but access to the rancho is permitted. 

Spring Valley has placed ten miles of Lake Merced trails at the disposal of the riding public. Signs explain the 
historic interest of the rancho, and direct equestrians to scenes of beauty and significance, notably to the site of the 
tragic Broderick-Terry duel in 1859. the last resort to the "code" in California. 



: : 1 







■ 1 1/ 


There are six golf courses on the Lake Merced Rancho — the San Francisco, the California, the Lake Merced, the 
two Olympic Club courses, and the Harding Memorial Course maintained by the City. This view is from the porch 
of the Harding clubhouse, looking across one of the sporty municipal holes to the silver expanse of Lake Merced. 

The first built of Spring Valley's three major distributing reservoirs in San Francisco is Laguna Honda, at Seventh 
Avenue opposite Ortega Street. When Pilarcitos water was first brought to the city in 1862, it was delivered here, 
and this "deep lake" has been part of the city system ever since. At elevation 370 feet, it supplies high city areas. 



University Mound distributing reservoir is on the southeastern heights of San Frani 
streets. It was built in 1885 at elevation 165 feet, to supply comparatively low s( 
remarkable city growth of recent years made necessary a considerable enlargement of 

ersitv and Bacon 
n Francisco. The 
of this unit. 

On a spur of Bernal Heights, at Appleton Avenue and Elsie Street. College Hill distributing reservoir was constructed 
in 1870 at an elevation of 255 feet to meet the growth of San Francisco and to supply sections of our hilly city on 
levels lower than those necessarily served by Laguna Honda Reservoir. 



When Spring Valley absorbed the old San Francisco City Water Works, it took over two distributing reservoirs on 
Russian Hill, Lombard-street reservoir (pictured here), and that at Francisco and Hyde. These historic reservoirs, 
which originally stored water from Lobos Creek in the Presidio, have been continuously in use for sixty-five years. 

Spring Valley has two covered reservoirs in San Francisco — Francisco Street and Stanford Heights. The Stanford 
Heights distributing reservoir was constructed in 1923 to supply the rapidly growing residential districts west of 
Twin Peaks. This is a view of the interior before the water was turned in. The structure is of reinforced concrete. 




rgcst pumping station in Spring V; 
rough a concrete reservoir near by, 

enue, against the background of Lake Merced, stands Central Pumps, the 
s distributing system. The water coming into the city reaches these pumps 
is pumped to Laguna Honda at the rate of eight million gallons per day. 

Interior view of Central Pumps. Simplicity of architectural design gives 
A gallery has been provided for the convenience of visitors. The station 
will permit its extension when additional units are necessary. 

this utilitarian struc 
vas constructed in I 

unusual beauty, 
m a plan which 



The brick stack of Black Point Pumps is a landmark of San Francisco; it has towered above the inner reaches of 
the Golden Gate, at Van Ness Avenue and Beach Street, ever since 1858. This pumping station used to serve the 
pioneer Russian Plill reservoirs. It now receives water from University Mount and lifts it to Presidio Heights. 

The Lake Merced (or "City") pumping station, situated on the east shore of the lake, takes water from Lake Merced 
and also "boosts" water flowing to the city from San Andres Reservoir. The Lake Merced sand-screens adjoin the 
pumping station. These pumps were installed in 1S91. 



Less than a mile southeast of Lake Merced Pumps is the Ocean View pumping station, which pumps San Andres 
and Pilarcitos water to Laguna Honda. It was built in 1907 at the time that Pilarcitos Reservoir became a feeder *to 
San Andres, to lift the increased supply coming into the cit\ through the new Merced branch of the San Andres line. 

On Seventeenth Street, between Sanchez and Xoe. is the Clarendon Heights pumping station. It is typical of the 
smaller pumps serving numerous regions into which the city has been districted for supply and fire-protection 
purposes. It lifts water to Stanford Heights, filling a five-million-gallon reservoir at an elevation of 620 feet. 


The Directors' rooms, the executive offices, the engineering, water sales, agricultural, real e 
of Spring Valley are housed in this reinforced concrete structure designed for the Comp; 
It stands on the west side of Mason Street between Geary and Post. Occupancy dates fr 

:e, and other departments 
bv the late Willis Polk. 
October of 1923. 



In this spacious room on the ground floor where water consumers form their initial impression of the Spring Valley 
personnel, the effort has been to enlist the resources of dignified simplicity in art and architecture to interpret the 
aims of public untility service, wherein foresight and efficiency strive to go hand in hand with courtesy. 

On rhe roof of Spring Valley Building, commanding a view of neighboring skyscrapers, San Francisco Bay, and 
the shores beyond, a garden of flowers, shrubs, and grasses has been planted outside a suite of rest- and refresh- 
ment-rooms for the exclusive use of the women employed in the administration of San Francisco's water supply. 



On Bryant Street, between Fourth and Fifth, is the Spring Valley Yard, where all water-meters are tested before 
installation. The Yard is headquarters for 120 pipe men, service and meter men, and machinists. Here are kept in 
stock the thousand and one items that must be instantly available in the water service of a large city. 

Spring Valley pipe crew installing a new line of twenty-four-inch riveted steel main in a district that has outgrown 
a smaller line. Pipe of this character is used for the larger distributing mains, cast-iron pipe being used for all lines 
tapped for house connections. Riveted iron pipe has lasted over fifty years in the streets of San Francisco. 



ing Valley's agricultural operations are widespread and diversified. In the vicinity of Pleasanton the Company 
les a large acreage on shares to many tenants. Northwest of Pleasanton, Spring Valley constructed Dairy Unit No. I, 
;ighty-five acres, a model dairy, of sanitary construction throughout, producing Grade A raw milk. 

The Pleasanton region used to be almost exclusively a grain and hay producing section. A great deal of acreage is 
now devoted to dairy operations. Spring Valley has some 2000 acres suitable for dairy purposes and the growing of 
alfalfa. The picture shows a herd of tuberculin-tested Holstein dairy cows at Spring Valley's Model Dairy Unit No. 1. 

Sugar-beets have been successfully grown at Pleasanton for many years, the heavy soil being specially adapted to 
this crop. Pleasanton beets are desirable for their high sugar content. Spring Valley has some eight hundred acres 
leased to sugar-beet growers on shares. 



Wheat and barley are the most important grain crops of the Pleasanton region. Spring Valley has expended large 
sums in reclaiming swamp lands here, and a considerable area of this land is now devoted to grain. The crops are 
unusually heavy, and of fine quality. The Company leases some 2500 acres to wheat and barley farmers. 



■*- ,. 

Spring Valley leases about 1200 acres for alfalfa in the Pleasanton regie 
from five to eight tons per acre, and the hay is of unusually fine quali 
only two irrigations a year. 

There are five or six crops a year, yielding 
The land is irrigated from wells, and needs 

On some 700 acres of Spring Valley lands in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, potatoes, ca 

lettuce, and root crops are grown. Mushrooms too are cultivated. Prunes are grown in the Calaveras region; 

and walnuts at Sunol. There are 100 acres of these walnuts. They are principally Franquettes, the highest type 



'Water Supply oj San Francisco 

[Continued from page 4] In all there are 18 
separate service districts in San Francisco, of 
which six might be termed major districts, 
the remainder being comparatively small 
areas which receive their supplies for the 
most part through automatic electrically 

j ioperated pumps, supplied directly from the 

■principal districts. 

The lowest pressure zone, the University 
.Mound district, receives its supply by gravi- 

jty from University Mound Reservoir, with 

la capacity of 59,400,000 gallons at elevation 
172 feet. This district comprises in general 

Lthe waterfront, industrial and principal busi- 
ness areas, together with some domestic con- 
sumers in the east and north sections of the 
city. College Hill Reservoir, with a capacity 

I of 13,500,000 at elevation 255 feet, supplies 
the next higher zone. Lake Honda, with a 
capacity of 44,000,000 gallons, situated near 

■the geographical center of the city at eleva- 
tion 370 feet, supplies the greater part of the 
domestic use. In addition to the water pump- 

ted into this reservoir from the Merced branch 
of the San Andres line and Lake Merced, it 
receives the surplus pumpage from Claren- 
don pumps, as well as the entire pumpage 

1 from Precita Valley pumps, an electrically 
driven unit of 3,300,000 gallons capacity 
which takes its supply from the University 

Mound distributing system. The next higher 
district is Presidio Heights, comprising the 
top of the ridge running along the north 
edge of the city. Water is pumped to Presidio 
Heights tank with a capacity of 700,000 gal- 
lons at elevation 400 feet, from Black Point 
station, containing two steam-driven units 
with a total capacity of 6,500,000 gallons 
daily. This station pumps directly out of the 
University Mound pipe system. Lombard 
Street Reservoir supplies a district on the in- 
termediate slopes of Russian and Telegraph 
hills. It is a subsidiary of Lake Honda, and 
receives its supply by gravity from the Lake 
Honda distributing system. Stanford Heights 
Reservoir at elevation 614 feet has a capaci- 
ty of 5,000,000 gallons, and is so constructed 
that this may be doubled at any time. It is 
supplied by Clarendon pumps, consisting of 
two steam-operated units with a total daily 
capacity of 2,600,000 gallons, which draw 
water from the University Mound system. 
The district supplied by this reservoir lies 
on the upper slopes of the Twin Peaks hills. 
The highest service in the city is Forest Hill, 
with storage at elevation of 760 feet. 

Although ownership of the drainage areas 
affords a practical protection to the water, as 
a further insurance the supply is sterilized. 

Photos by George E. Fanning and Gabriel Moul 


Pilarcitos . . 
San Andres 
Crystal Springs 
Upper Crystal 

Calaveras . 

















3:1 &2: 

(cu. yds.) 










Dailv Water- 
Yield shed 

(m.g.) (sq.m.) 


56.0 136.0 


Lake Merced 
Lake Honda . 
LTniversity Mound 
College Hill . . 
Stanford Heights 
Lombard Street . 
Francisco Street 
Potrero Heights . 
Niles Reservoir 


1861 & 1915 
1885 & 1924 







Depth of 








High Water 






(m. g.) 




spring \) alley <— > <±An Historical T(eview 

IN the "Days of Forty-Nine" San Fran- 
cisco obtained its water from wells. Later 
on, water was brought from the hills across 
the Golden Gate and sold in the streets from 
water-carts. In 1858 John Bensley organized 
the San Francisco City Water Company, and 
brought water from Lobos Creek, a little 
stream flowing through the Presidio (U. S. 
Military Reservation) into the Pacific Ocean. 
This first organized supply was two million 
gallons a day; it flowed through tunnel, 
flume, and pipe-line around Fort Point to 
the foot of Van Ness Avenue, and was 
pumped to two reservoirs on Russian Hill — 
the Lombard and Francisco street reservoirs. 

The year i860 saw the beginning of 
Spring Valley Water Works, organized by 
George Ensign. The name came from a 
spring in the hollow between Clay and 
Broadway, Powell and Mason streets, called 
the Valley Spring. But the company's first 
water supply was Islais Creek, tapped at a 
point west of the present Mission Street via- 
duct. The water was carried by flume and 
pipe-line to a reservoir at Sixteenth and 
Brannan streets. The yield was 200,000 gal- 
lons a day. 

More enterprising than its elder competi- 
tor, Spring Valley proceeded far afield to 
develop water on a large scale, and chose 
strategic positions for its big distributing 
reservoirs within the city. 

San Francisco's neighboring county to the 
south is San Mateo, a region of beautiful 
valleys, mountains thickly wooded, and, 
nowadays, of dense suburban population. 
Spring Valley, immediately realizing that 
San Francisco was destined to become a 
great metropolis which could not be supplied 
from streams like Lobos and Islais, went 
prospecting for water down the peninsula. 
Within two years the Company was building 
its first catchment reservoir, at Pilarcitos 
high in the San Mateo hills, and its first big 
distributing reservoir, Laguna Honda, in 
San Francisco. By '62 Pilarcitos water was 
flowing by gravity thirty-two miles to La- 
guna Honda. Two years later Pilarcitos was 
being enlarged. 

Laguna Honda (deep lake) was far from 
all city dwellings in those days. Rollin M. 
Daggett, a popular poet and journalist, 

wrote of the new reservoir: "There is much 
to feed the eye of fancy along the road that 
leads to Honda, and something, withal, to 
touch the sense of grosser speculation. After 
leaving Hayes Valley, the road to the lake 
passes through narrow valleys studded with 
chaparral, and we presume peppered with 

By '65 Spring Valley had absorbed the 
San Francisco City Water Company, taking 
over the Lobos Creek supply and structures, 
the pumping station at Black Point, the two 
reservoirs on Russian Hill, and the pipes in 
the streets. Ever since then Spring Valley 
alone has borne the responsibility of supply- 
ing this city with water. The corporate name 
was changed to Spring Valley Water Com- 
pany in 1903. 

The year 1864 is notable in Spring Valley 
annals. It was then that a young man left 
the draughting-room of the Vulcan Iron 
Works to become assistant engineer for the 
water company. This was Hermann Schuss- 
ler, who had been graduated in engineering 
in Zurich, Switzerland. He was destined to 
exert a profound influence upon the develop- 
ment of San Francisco's water supply. A. W. 
von Schmidt had been Spring Valley's first 
chief engineer. Calvin Brown succeeded him, 
and to Brown, who was constructing a new 
dam at Pilarcitos, young Schussler reported. 

Hermann Schussler's first distinctive 
achievement was the discovery of the reser- 
voir possibilities of San Andres Valley, 
northeast of Pilarcitos, and at a lower eleva- 
tion, in San Mateo County. 

"While making the survey for the Pilar- 
citos pipe-line," Mr. Schussler said many 
years later, "I noticed, in running one trial 
line up the San Andres Valley, some level 
ground, and I changed the route of the pipe- 
line and laid it on the hill, toward town, and 
we built the pipe-line on this second line. 
But I kept my old notes of the valley line, 
and found for a distance of nearly three 
miles that this valley raised but very little, 
perhaps ten or fifteen feet. So I kept this in 
mind, and when, gradually, the daily de- 
mand for water increased, I asked the execu- 
tive committee of our board to go out with 
me and take a look at this valley, privately, 
in such a wav that we would not be recog- 



lized by those eagle-eyed farmers. I showed 
t to William F. Babcock, Lloyd Tevis and 
John Parrott. They made up their minds 
hat there was something in it. So they set 
in agent to work, and bought up this valley, 
with most of the watershed — another four 
or five square miles." The damming of San 
Andres Valley began in 1868. 

As soon as San Andres water was avail- 
able, a new distributing reservoir was built 
On College Hill to the west of Holly Park. 
This hill is a spur of Bernal Heights, and 
its name is reminiscent of St. Mary's College 
(now in Oakland), which was established 
early in the sixties on a tract of sixty acres 
originally intended for a Catholic cemetery. 
A description of the site in 1861 locates it 
"on the old San Jose Road and within six 
blocks of the line of the San Jose Railroad." 

Two very important expansions of the 
system began in 1875. Development of the 
Crystal Springs watershed was begun with 
the construction of an earthen dam known as 
Upper Crystal Springs. In that year, too, 
Spring Valley turned its attention to water 
sources across the Bay. Land was bought in 
Calaveras Valley, fed by streams from Mt. 
Hamilton. The Company also acquired the 
Vallejo Mills properties near Niles, where a 
primitive water supply had been constructed 
years before by Don Jose de J. Vallejo, a 
brother of General Mariano Guadalupe 
Vallejo. This was the beginning of the im- 
portant Alameda Division of Spring Valley. 

The enlargement of the Crystal Springs 
Reservoir went steadily forward. Watershed 
and reservoir properties and water-rights 
were acquired as opportunity offered. In 1887 
the construction of the big Crystal Springs 
concrete dam was commenced. 

The city had been growing, and by August, 
'85, the Company had brought into service 
the third of its big city distributing reservoirs 
— University Mound. It stands on a plateau 
south of Silver Avenue, directlv in front of 
the Lick Old Ladies' Home, which occupies 
a building long ago erected for University 
College. This was a little-known section in 
1885. "The spot," said a newspaper, "is one 
of the dreariest and windiest on the Penin- 
sula, the sparse population declaring that 
on no day in the year are its rough slopes 
unswept by roystering breezes. Xo car comes 
within a mile of it, and the only signs of 
life in the neighborhood are the distant view 

of the city, the flap of the blinds in the few 
occupied windows of the Old Ladies' Home, 
and the whizzing sails of the garden wind- 
mills on the flats beneath." 

Meanwhile Lake Merced had been added 
to the peninsular catchment system. The 
Company had acquired its first water-rights 
on the Lake Merced Rancho as early as 
1868; purchase of lake and watershed lands 
began in 1877. 

This beautiful body of water has a record- 
ed history going back one hundred and fifty 
years. On September ,24, 1775, Don Bruno 
de Heceta, who had but recently returned 
from a northern exploration and the discov- 
ery of the Columbia River, encamped here 
with his followers. He was searching for 
Don Juan Manuel de Ayala, who, he had 
reason to believe, was engaged in a survey 
of the port of San Francisco. It was the feast 
day of Our Lady of Mercy; so, in accord- 
ance with the pious Spanish custom, Fathers 
Palou and Campa, who were in the party, 
named the lake La Laguna de Nuestra 
Senora de la Merced ( the Lake of Our Lady 
of Mercy). The Merced Rancho was grant- 
ed, September 27, 1835, by J os e Jesus Cas- 
tro, Governor of California, to Jose Antonio 
Galindo. This was the first grant of land 
in San Francisco. Within two years Galindo 
sold the two thousand odd acres to Francisco 
de Haro and Francisco Guerrero, the con- 
sideration being one hundred cows and goods 
valued at twenty-five dollars. September 
figures importantly in the annals of Lake 
Merced. Here, on September 13, 1859, 
United States Senator David C. Broderick 
and Judge David S. Terry, two giants of 
California's turbulent politics, faced each 
other in a duel that ranks among the classic 
encounters of the field of honor. Senator 
Broderick fell mortally wounded. The bullet 
of Judge Terry destroyed forever the hold of 
the code duello on the Pacific Coast. 

Spring Valley systematically enlarged its 
holdings and water-rights in the Alameda 
Division. In 1887, at the same time that the 
big concrete dam at Crystal Springs was 
Started, Spring Valley began the construction 
of a pipe-line to divert Alameda Creek water 
from the Vallejo Mills (or Niles) Dam. This 
line, of course, had to cross San Francisco 
Bay, and the construction of the first sub- 
marine pipes was one of Hermann Schussler's 
sreat achievements. 



Hermann Schussler had satisfied himself 
by his explorations that there was a large 
underground stretch of water-bearing gravels 
in the Sunol Valley. This fact determined 
the next great step in the development of the 
Alameda Division. A dam was built across 
Alameda Creek at Sunol, and water was 
diverted there instead of lower down at 
Niles. The famous filter galleries were run 
through the underground gravels, and at the 
spot where the Water Temple afterwards 
rose the water entered a conduit which car- 
ried it to Sunol Dam and the Niles Canyon 
line. This work was completed in 1900. In 
1898 the first wells were put down at the 
Pleasanton outlet of the Livermore Valley; 
others were added from time to time. 

The Water Temple is considered the great- 
est architectural achievement of the illustri- 
ous Willis Polk. Since his death a granite 
slab has been placed at the Temple bearing 
this inscription: 

A thing of beauty is a joy forever : 
Its loveliness increases; it will never 
Pass into nothingness. — Keats. 

The disaster of 1906 caused serious dam- 
age to the Spring Valley system. The Pilar- 
citos pipe-line to San Francisco was de- 
stroyed and never restored, Pilarcitos there- 
after becoming a feeder to San Andres. In 
the city distributing system there were numer- 
ous breaks where the pipes crossed filled 
ground, and service connections were lost 
throughout the burnt district. But the dis- 
tributing reservoirs in San Francisco, the 
great catchment reservoirs of the peninsula, 
the submarine pipes, the miles of tunnels on 
both sides of the Bay, and the costly pump- 
ing stations escaped — a striking proof of the 
excellence of their construction. 

As far back as 1875 Spring Valley had 
visualized the construction of a great dam 
at the outlet of Calaveras Valley. The first 
explorations were made in 1886. Definite 
plans had been matured by 1906, at a time 
when the necessity of increasing the water 
supply was very much to the fore with Com- 
pany officials. The disaster of that year 
caused a postponement, but in 19 13 the work 
of constructing the dam was commenced. 
Calaveras Dam was practically completed at 
the end of 1924. This expansion called for 
a bigger aqueduct down Niles Canyon, so the 
old conduit was replaced by the present 

Sunol Aqueduct, completed in the year 1923. 

The city distributing system grew steadily 
with city growth. Reservoirs at strategic ele- 
vations were added through the years, and 
new pumping stations were installed, the 
most important being Central Pumps on 
Sloat Boulevard. To meet the remarkable 
growth of population west of Twin Peaks, 
the Stanford Heights Reservoir was con- 
structed in 1923, and to care for the grow- 
ing industrial needs down-town University 
Mound was the same year enlarged. 

The growth of the city system is sum- 
marized in the following figures: 


uny vn 

e sumption 





11,680,000 gals 





20,430,000 " 





25,470,000 " 




29,200,000 " 





35,600,000 " 





36,168,000 " 


No census 



41,000,000 " 

Metering of the entire system was com- 
pleted in 19 18, and explains why daily con- 
sumption has not mounted in the same ratio 
as population. The drop in revenue-produc- 
ing services in 1906 was the result of the 
great fire. 

San Francisco is the largest American 
city with a privately operated water supply. 
The city of San Francisco has an option on 
the system which covers all properties, water-1 
rights, and structures, save a few that the 
city feels it does not need. This option runs 
until 1933. 

From 1858 until the adoption of the new 
State Constitution in 1879, California water 
rates were made under the authority of the 
state by a commission of three — appointees 
of the city and water company respectively, 
and a third selected by these two. After 1879 
rates were made in San Francisco by the 
Board of Supervisors. This method was su- 
perseded in 19 15, when the Railroad Com- 
mission was empowered to fix rates. 

As early as 1875 acquisition of Spring 
Valley by the city of San Francisco was agi- 
tated, but the proposition of voting bonds 
was not submitted to the electorate until 
19 10. It failed to carry then, as likewise at 
bond elections held in 19 15 and 192 1. 

The city program is to acquire Spring 
Valley and make it an integral part of the 
Hetch Hetchy municipal water supply head- 
ing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 


Spring Valley Water Company 

W. B. Bourn, Chairman of the Board of Directors 

Director, November 14, igo/, to date,- President, July ji, igo8, to January 

26, IQ2J; Chairman of the Board, January 26, IQ2J, to date. 

S. P. Eastman, President 
Director, April ig, igog, to date; President, January 26, ig2J, to date. 

A. H. Payson, Vice-President 

Director, June 14, 1887, to September 2, i88g; May 14, i8gi y to date; 

President, May 10, igo6, to July ji, igo8. 

E. J. McCutchen, Vice-President 
Director, April ig, igog, to date. 

Frank B. Anderson 
Director, January ij, ig04, to date. 

Benjamin Bangs 
Director, August ij, igi2, to date. 

Edward L. Eyre 
Director, April ig, igog, to date. 

E. S. Heller 

Director, April 28, igoj, to September 15, jgoj; April 12, ig2l, to June 

IJ, Jg22; December ij, jg22, to date. 

Robert G. Hooker 
Director, July 15, ig2$, to date. 

Frank B. King 

Director, January 28, ig20, to date. 

Louis F. Monteagle 

Director, April ig, igog, to date. 

Warren Olney, Jr. 
Director, August ij, ig2j, to date. 

Arthur R.Vincent 
Director, April 12, ig22, to date. 




|o you \now what sea* fog is? It is the 
bodily, spiritual and temporal life 
of California; it is the immaculate 
\mantle of the unclad coast; it feeds 
the hungry soil, gives drin\ unto the 
thirsting corn, and clothes the na\edness of nature. 
It is the ghost of unshed showers — atomized dew, 
precipitated in lifcbestowing avalanches upon a 
dewless and parched shore; it is the good angel that 
stands between a careless people and contagion; it 
is heaven-sent nourishment. It ma\es strong the 
wea\; ma\es wise the foolish — you dont go out a 
second time in midsummer without your wraps — 
and it is altogether the freshest, purest, sweetest, 
most picturesque, and most precious element in the 
physical geography of the Pacific Slope. It is worth 
more to California than all her gold, and silver, 
and copper, than all her corn and wine 
— in short, it is simply in' 




Francisco ^Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 


Volume V 

April, 1926 

Number 2 

TVilliam babcock Jjiwrence 

By the Editor 

: 1866-1925 

WHEN William B. Lawrence, Superin- 
tendent of the Water Division of 
Spring Valley Water Company, passed away, 
\ cloud of heavy sorrow descended upon 
many men and women in many walks of life. 
Widely known, and as widely respected, he 
Was very deeply loved, and his death with- 
drew a prop from persons and institutions 
:hat were wont to depend upon his strength, 
lis affection, and his indefatigable helpful- 
ness. In the closely knit family of Spring 
Valley, his passing loosened threads of in- 
timacy that had been drawn tight a long time 
back. In many circles Spring Valley Water 
Company cannot be quite the same, lacking 
;W. B. Lawrence. 

The name of Lawrence is inseparably con- 
nected with Spring Valley Water Company. 
During the formative years of San Fran- 
cisco's water supply, W. H. Lawrence was 
General Superintendent, and exerted an in- 
fluence upon the development of the system 
second only to that of Hermann Schussler. 
In the office of W. H. Lawrence, his son 
W. B. Lawrence was trained, and in the long 
span between 1882, when he first worked for 
Spring Valley, and 1925, when he passed 
away full of honorable achievement, W. B. 
Lawrence left an indelible impression upon 
the history of the Company's progress. W. B. 
Lawrence was one of the great water-supply 
experts of the West — and that means, by 
proper inference, of the United States. 


William Babcock Lawrence was born in San 
Francisco on the fourth day of June, 1866. 
No apology is needed for introducing here 

a note about the distinguished San Fran- 
ciscan in whose honor W. B. Lawrence was 
given the middle name of Babcock. In The 
Commerce and Industries of the Pacific 
Coast, by John S. Hittell, 1882, there is the 
following biographical account: 

"William F. Babcock, a native of Massa- 
chusetts, became clerk in a mercantile house 
of New York at the age of sixteen, and 
stuck to his place nine years, until the firm 
sent him at the age of twenty-five to take 
charge of a branch established in New 

"In 1852 he came to San Francisco as 
agent of Davis, Brooks & Co., the firm which 
had given their full confidence to him for 
years. In 1854, when the Pacific Mail Steam- 
ship Company found that it was to have a 
troublesome competitor in the Nicaragua 
route, under the management of Vanderbilt 
and Garrison, it selected Mr. Babcock to be 
its agent in association with A. B. Forbes, 
and for eight years he had that difficult and 
responsible position. 

"The Spring Valley Water Company elect- 
ed him to its presidency in 1864, when its 
water supply was 600,000 gallons a day; 
and he retained the place for upwards of 
ten years, retiring after the company could 
furnish 17,000,000 a day. 

"Under his presidency it was necessary to 
construct a durable conduit twelve miles 
long, to bring water from the San Andres 
Reservoir to San Francisco, with capacity to 
bear a pressure of three hundred feet. Mr. 
Bacbock sent Mr. Schussler, the engineer, 
to examine the wrought-iron pipes used in 
the hydraulic mines, and against angry pro- 


April, 192(1 

test and confident predictions of failure, it 
was decided to adopt wrought-iron pipe. 
which had at that time never been used for 
such a length or for the supply of a town. 
After some discourag- 
ing breaks, which were 
mere trifles as com- 
pared with the general 
result, the pipe was a 
success, and it made a 
new epoch in the wa- 
ter supply of towns." 

A warm friendship 
strengthened by re- 
spect for each other's 
abilities existed be- 
tween William F. Bab- 
cock and W. H. Law- 
rence. President Bali- 
cock recognized the 
worth of W. H. Law- 
rence, even as he rec- 
ognized that of Her- 
mann Schussler. and 
he had a warm affec- 
tion for the boy who 
was named after him. 


Although he was born 
in San Francisco, 
W. B. Lawrence was 
raised in San Mateo 
County, the home of 
his parents. Fhe family 
moved from one lovely 
spot to another as the 
development of the 
Peninsula Division of 
Spring Valley pro- 
ceeded. As an infant 
he lived at remote 
Pilarcitos, for that was 
then the center of the 
Company's activities. 
Then the Lawrences 
moved to San Andres, 
and W. B. Lawrence 
had his first schooling 
at Millbrae. trotting 

back and forth upon a pony of which he was 
very proud. It was a longer trip than little 
schoolboys make nowadays, and doubtless it 
impressed upon him the importance and seri- 
ousness of education. From the first, W. B. 

Lawrence applied himself steadily and ear- 
nestly to his books. Later the family lived al 
the Spaulding place, below Byrnes' store 
and Will Lawrence attended the Canada 
School. At this time hi 
father superintended! 
the building of th( 
Upper Crystal Springs 
Dam. Thence the Law- 
rences returned to Sar 
Andres, and the bo) 
was entered at St. Mat- 
thew's Hall in Sar 

This famous mili- 
tary school was con-. 
ducted by Dr. Brewer 
and YV. B. Lawrenai 
studied there with ;j 
number of men destin I 
ed. like himself. t< 
ecome distinguishecj 
citizens. Among the! 
were the late Willial 
C. Ralston, the la] 
Henry J. Crocker. Drl 
Sidney E. Mezes ( nov 
President of the Colj 
lege of the City o 
Xew York) . George H{ 
Howard of Hills 
borough. Harry Bab 

(I cock. Henrv Rosen 
: - feld, William C 
I Sharpsteen. the Revj 
W. A. Brewer 1 May 
- or of Hillsborough] 
Percy Selbv, Henr 
W. Poett. Floyd ] 
Tudah, and Dr. Trad 
G. Russell. YV. E 
awrence imbibed th 
influence of this fin 
institution from 1S7. 
until he was graduate^ 
in 1 SS4. "He was a dili 
gent student." says th 
Rev. YV. A. Brewer, on 
of his playmates. "an< 
established friendship 
that were maintained till his death." 


During the school vacation of 1SS2 W. E 
Lawrence did his first work for Spring Yalj 

iApril, 1926 


ley Water Company, acting as rodman on 
the survey of the Crystal Springs pipe-line 
from Upper Crystal Springs to University 
Mound Reservoir in San Francisco. During 
another vacation he worked at the site of 
the present Calaveras Reservoir in Alameda 
and Santa Clara counties, assisting in the 
measurement of flow in various streams of 
that watershed. 

Thus it will be seen that even as a little 
boy W. B. Lawrence started to become in- 
timately familiar with the geography of 
Spring Valley's water-supply sources. It is 
;no exaggeration to say that he came to know 
every acre of Spring Valley holdings as well 
as a householder knows his little front gar- 

W. B. Lawrence entered the permanent 
.employ of Spring Valley immediately upon 
■leaving school, first acting as a clerk for his 
father, later earning the title of assistant to 
.Chief Engineer Hermann Schussler. When 
:W. H. Lawrence died, in 1888, he had the 
Satisfaction of knowing that the system which 
:he had helped to pioneer was developing 
into one of the country's great metropolitan 
water companies. And all that he knew about 
•the Company — its history, its geography, its 
resources, and its possibilities — he had 
taught to his son. 

One of W. B. Lawrence's first jobs as as- 
sistant engineer was the making of a survey 
for a proposed road from the Polhemus place 
around the rocky point over to the Upper 
Crystal Springs Dam. This road the Com- 
■pany afterwards built to take the place of 
that which ran through the valley where is 
l now Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir. 


In the subsequent development of the prop- 
erties W. B. Lawrence played an important 
ipart. To particularize his activities would 
: be to recite the history of Spring Valley for 
forty-odd years. But the principal undertak- 
ings upon which he left his impress should be 
mentioned. They were : construction of Lower 
Crystal Springs Dam, construction of Stone 
Dam Aqueduct and the Davis Tunnel, en- 
largement of the San Andres pipe-line, the 
installation of Millbrae Pumps, the con- 
struction of the Alameda pipe-line, includ- 
ing the submarine pipes, and the develop- 
ment of the Pleasanton and Sunol sources 
of supply, including the Sunol filter galleries 

and the erection of the beautiful Water 

In 1908 W. B. Lawrence had been ap- 
pointed Superintendent of the Water Divi- 
sion of Spring Valley Water Company. He 
thus described his duties before the Master 
in Chancery in 1915: "My duties are the 
general supervision and operation, repair 
and maintenance of the plant. They also 
comprise the care of the reservoirs, pumping 
plants, roads, fences, flumes, pipe-lines and 
telephone lines." A brief enough statement, 
but it represents a responsibility that W. B. 
Lawrence took to his heart and to his con- 
science twenty-four hours a day for seven- 
teen years. 


When W. H. Lawrence died, in 1888, his 
brother James M. was appointed to succeed 
him as supervisor for the second district of 
San Mateo County. James M. Lawrence re- 
signed the following year, and Governor 
Waterman named W. B. Lawrence in his 
place. He was elected to the office at the 
special election in July, 1889. In November 
of 1890 he was re-elected, and served with 
outstanding ability the complete four-year 
term. He was not a candidate again. 

During the World War he was a member 
of the Defense Council for San Mateo 
County. And at the time of his death he was 
chairman of the advisory committee on re- 
districting the county. The work of that 
committee was organized by him, and was 
carried forward with a thoroughness and 
practicality by no means common in such 


The estimation in which W. B. Lawrence 
was held may be understood from the tone 
of the resolutions presented to the Board of 
Supervisors of San Mateo County by District 
Attorney Swart: 

William B. Lawrence was born in San Mateo 
County.* He lived his life of fifty-nine years in 
San Mateo County. And in his home in this county 
he died on November 2, 1925. 

His life was closely associated with the activity 
and progress of the county. 

For six years he served as a Supervisor. And 
from the day of his withdrawal as a public official 
to the day of his death, he took a keen, active in- 
terest in the upbuilding of the good name and the 
substantial progress of his county. 

He was constantly called upon in matters of 

*This was a slip of the pen. W. B. Lawrence was born 
in San Francisco. — Editor. 


April, 1926 

W. H. Lawrence 

great public interest. During the great World War 
he served as a member of the County Council of 
Defense. In fact, few important commissions of 
the county did not include the name of Mr. Law- 
rence. And even at the time of his death he had 
consented once more to serve the county in the im- 
portant matter of considering the redistricting of 
the county. 

His view in public matters was ever forward. 
To him the present was always subservient to the 
future well-being. 

In his long service with the Spring Valley Water 
Company (which in fact dated from his nineteenth 
birthday to his death), Mr. Lawrence never forgot 
the public interest. 

Through his long-sighted policy of fairness to 
the public in the management of the Spring Valley 
properties, this great public service company has 
sustained the constant friendly co-operation of the 
general public. 

Subject to the protection of the sacred use to 
which the properties are dedicated, the great prop- 
erties were opened to the public. 

The creeks, the waters, the shrubbery, the hills, 
were protected for the public and for the future 
generations. The wild life, the quail, the songbird, 
the deer, were protected for the future. 

And when perchance a shortsighted malicious 
trespasser or poacher was taken into custody, Mr. 
Lawrence always sought to talk with him person- 
ally. In a firm and dignified way, he was told that 
Spring Valley is not protecting its properties and 
its wild life for the selfish use of its officials, but 
is keeping it as a public park and refuge and for 
the future generations. 

Mr. Lawrence loved the great outdoors. "Sawyer's 
Camp," "The Stone Dam," "Pilarcitos," will, 

through the years to come, commemorate the beau- 
tiful memory of the man who so loved to entertain 
his family and his friends there. 

In recognition therefore of the public service in 
and to San Mateo County, and the high quali 
as a man of William B. Lawrence; 

Be it ordered, That this brief statement be spread 
upon the minutes of this board, and a copy thereof 
be forwarded to the widow, Emma Lawrence. 

Regularly passed and adopted by the Board of 
Supervisors of the County of San Mateo, State of 
California, this 16th day of November, 1925, in 
regular meeting of said board. 

John MacBain, 

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, 

County of San Mateo, State of 


The Board of Directors of Spring Valley 
Water Company spread the following resolu- 
tions on the minutes of its meeting : 

Whereas, W. B. Lawrence, Superintendent oi 
the Water Division of Spring Valley Water Com- 
pany, departed this life on the second day of 
November, 1925 ; and 

Whereas, W. B. Lawrence had been in the serv- 
ice of Spring Valley Water Company for forty-twc 
years, from 1883 to the day of his death; and 

Whereas, The members of the Board of Di- 
rectors of Spring Valley Water Company share witr 
all of W. B. Lawrence's Spring Valley colleagues a 
profound sense of sorrow for his untimely passing; 
now therefore be it 

Resolved, That we recognize in W. B. Lawrence 
one of the outstanding [Continued on page 11] 

W. B. Lawrence in early life 



The "Barometer and the Weather 

By I. E. Flaa, Office Engineer 

THE barometer (from two Greek words, 
baros, meaning weight, and metron, 
meaning measure,) is an instrument used in 
[measuring the weight of the atmosphere. 

Nearly 300 years ago the great Italian 
philosopher and scholar Galileo had his at- 
tention called to the fact that water could not 
be raised more than thirty-two feet in a 
suction-pump; so he started a series of ex- 
periments to ascertain the reason for this 
condition. Before these experiments were 
fcompleted Galileo died, and the work was 
carried on by his pupil Torricelli. 

Torricelli, knowing that mercury weighed 
about fourteen times more than water, de- 
cided that whatever caused water to rise 
thirty-two feet in a suction-pump would 
cause mercury to rise one- fourteenth of that 
height. To prove this he took a glass tube 
about three feet long, closed at one end, and 
filled it with mercury, then placing his finger 
over the open end he inverted the tube and 
placed it in a shallow vessel containing mer- 
cury. On removing his finger he found that 
the mercury in the tube dropped to a point 
about twenty-nine inches above that in the 
open vessel. From the result of this experi- 
ment he came to the conclusion that the force 
'causing the mercury column to stand in the 
Itube was the pressure of the air on the ex- 
posed mercury in the open vessel. Thus was 
the first barometer invented. 

During the early stages of development 
it was observed that a change in weather 
caused a corresponding change in the height 
of the mercury column; shortly before and 
during storms the column would fall. After 
the storm had ceased and clear weather pre- 
vailed the column would rise. It was also 
observed that the mercury column would fall 
as the instrument was elevated — that is, 
taken from sea-level to the top of a mountain 
— showing that the pressure diminished as 
the distance from the earth increased. 

As a result of these observations mariners 
since that time have carried barometers on 
board their vessels, enabling them to fore- 
cast the approach of storms. The barometer 
in its present state of perfection is used by 
the United States Weather Bureau and others 
to forecast weather conditions, by engineers 

to determine the elevation of points on the 
earth, and to ascertain elevation of airships. 

Most storms in the United States originate 
in the Pacific Ocean and travel at an average 
rate of twenty-eight miles an hour from west 
to east across the continent. The centers of 
these storms have a low barometric pressure, 
and are roughly from about 500 to 1500 
miles in diameter. They are technically 
known as "cyclonic" areas, or cyclones. Cy- 
clones should not be confused with tor- 
nadoes, those violent, destructive and terrify- 
ing storms that occur during the summer 
months in the region east of the Rocky Moun- 
tains. Areas of high pressures are known as 
"anti-cyclonic" areas, and travel in the same 
general direction across the continent as the 
low-pressure areas. 

As water flows from a high to a low point, 
so does air travel from areas of high pres- 
sure to areas of low pressure, causing winds. 
Therefore, the wind is always blowing to- 
ward an approaching storm. And so, by ob- 
serving the atmospheric pressure and the 
direction of wind, one is fairly able to fore- 
cast the approach of storms. The following 
rule for forecasting weather conditions is 
clearly stated on the Daily Weather Map 
issued by the United States Weather Bureau : 

"Wind-Barometer Indications: — When the wind 
sets in from points between south and southeast 
and the barometer falls steadily, a storm is ap- 
proaching from the west or northwest, and its 
center will pass near or north of the observer with- 
in 12 or 24 hours with wind shifting to northwest 
by way of southwest and west. When the wind 
sets in from points between east and northeast and 
the barometer falls steadily, a storm is approach- 
ing from the south or southwest, and its center will 
pass near or to the south or east of the observer 
within 12 or 24 hours with the wind shifting to the 
northwest by way of north. The rapidity of the 
storm's approach and its intensity will be indicated 
by the rate and the amount of the fall in the 

Weather forecasts are made daily by the 
United States Weather Bureau, based on ob- 
servations of barometric pressure, tempera- 
ture, wind, humidity, rain, and sunshine, at 
a great number of stations scattered over the 
United States and Canada, and from ships 
at sea. These observations are made at 8 a.m. 
and 8 p.m. 75th-meridian time, which is 


April, 1926 

Figure i. U. S. Daily Weather Map for Monday, February I, 1926, showing center of approaching storm, about 1700 
miles northwest of San Francisco. Heavy broken lines are drawn through points of same barometric pressure 

5 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific time, and the in- 
formation is transmitted by telegraph and 
radio to Washington and other cities where 
forecasting stations are located. 

These data are transferred to a base map. 
On this map one set of lines is drawn through 
points of equal barometric pressure, and an- 
other set drawn through lines of equal tem- 
perature. The former lines are called "iso- 
bars," and the latter "isotherms." These lines 
show the location of all the areas of high and 
low barometric pressures, and are indicated 
on the maps as "High" and "Low." (See 
Figures 1 and 2.) After the map is com- 
pleted the forecaster, from long experience 
and intimate knowledge, makes his forecast 
for the next twenty-four to thirty-six hours. 
The maps with the forecasts are then printed 
and quickly distributed to the public. 

Figure 1 is the United States Weather 
Bureau Daily Weather Map for Monday, 
February 1, 1926. The forecast for San 
Francisco Bay region was, "Unsettled and 
mild, probably occasional rain later tonight 
or Tuesday; light winds becoming southerly 
and increasing." 

During the next twenty-four hours there 

was increasing cloudiness and a strong) 
southerly wind, showing every indication of 
an approaching storm, the center of which,) 
at the time of the forecast, was located in thej 
Pacific Ocean about 1700 miles northwest 
of San Francisco, as shown by the "Low" 
in the upper left-hand corner of the map.! 
(See Figure 1.) 

Figure 2 is the Daily Weather Map for 
the following day, Tuesday, February 2,1 
1926, with the following forecast for San 
Francisco Bay region: "Rain tonight, with} 
strong southerly winds and gales; Wednes-i 
day unsettled, with occasional rains, and 
winds shifting to westerly; mild tempera-l 

This map shows that the storm hasj 
traveled southwesterly to a point about 500 
miles west of San Francisco. On Tuesday it 
rained 1.21 inches, and on Wednesday .351 
inch, showing the accuracy of the forecast. | 

This storm appeared in the north Pacific 
Ocean about January 27, 1926, began travel- 
ing south and east, and caused rain of more) 
or less intensity for ten days, during which 
time 7.19 inches fell. Stormy weather con- 
tinued off and on till February 23rd, with a 

\PRIL, I926 



Figure 2. IT. S. Daily Weather Map for Tuesday, February 2, 1926, showing 
center of storm about 500 miles west of San Francisco 

total rainfall from January 27th to Febru- 
ary 23rd of 10.27 inches, and a replenish- 
ment of the storage in the reservoirs of about 
ten billion gallons. Thus in twenty-seven 
days sufficient water was received from rain- 
'fall to supply San Francisco for 250 days, 
exclusive of pumping from wells. 

It is instructive to study the daily figures 
of the replenishment of the Spring Valley 
•reservoirs — Calaveras, Crystal Springs, San 
Andres, Pilarcitos, and Lake Merced — dur- 
ing the rainfall of February. The figures 
(here totaled for all the above-mentioned 
reservoirs) show how rapid is the replenish- 
ment of storage following rainfall on water- 
sheds of such productivity as Spring Valley's. 


.18 inche 
.84 " 
•97 " 

•57 " 


83.2 million gallons 









in San 


2.38 inches 



Spring Valley 


68.9 million gallons 

73-1 " 

123.2 " 
362.7 " 
529-5 " 
465.6 " 

288.3 " 
341-5 " 



Total ... 10.27 in. 10,171.7 million gallons 
Note: T indicates trace (less than .01 inch). 

The cover shows a barometer with the 
pressure at San Francisco on February 1. 

The Spring Valley Water Company main- 
tains barometers at the Head Office, Mill- 
brae, Sunol, and Calaveras. 

The Company is indebted to the United 
States Weather Bureau for its courtesy in 
giving information when asked for, and to 
the A. Lietz Company for the use of the 
barometer shown on the cover of this issue. 

Above: A general view of Calaveras Dam, showing on the left Observation Hill scarred and "borrow- 
pitted" by the excavation of material for the construction of the dam. The rock-facing designed to 
prevent sloughing of the earth is laid in a series of arches. Below : The outlet tower surmounting the 
shaft that houses the control gates. The causeway leads from a circle of formal architectural treatment. 
The tower was styled in reminiscence of the Sunol Water Temple. 


Here the camera records an unusual bit of water-supply installation — the laying of a submarine pipe 
across the Channel at Fourth Street, San Francisco. This pipe has flexible joints which enable it to 
accommodate itself to the uneven bottom. The length is 250 feet, and there are several angles. The 
pipe was put together on pontoons and lowered into place by derricks. The function of this pipe is 
to reinforce the water supply of the industrial district. 



April, 1926 

"The Cjfog in Prose and Poetry 

By Alexander McAdie 

(During the winter just passed the fog was an 
unusually persistent visitor to the coast and the 
great valley of northern and central California. 
There were times when dwellers in the great do- 
main that stretches from Sacramento to Fresno 
suspected that the fog had come to stay. On the 
inside front cover of this issue of San Francisco 
Water there is an excerpt from Charles Warren 
Stoddard glorifying the fog. Here are two studies 
of the fog by a former San Franciscan, the beloved 
McAdie, who once held sway in the eyrie of the 
Merchants Exchange Building, where E. H. Bowie 
now forecasts the weather. The first is from an 
article on "Weather Conditions on the Pacific 
Coast," which McAdie contributed to the excellent 
little encyclopedia, Nature and Science on the Pa- 
cific Coast. The second is in the imaginative vein 
— really a bit of prose poetry — and is taken from 
McAdie's scarce little book, Infra Nubcin.) 


ONE of the most marked climatic features 
of San Francisco is the prevalence of 
fog. In summer afternoons sea-fog moves 
through the Gate, appearing about 1 p.m. 
and covering the whole sky by 3 p.m. The 
average depth of the fog layer is 518 meters 
(1700 feet). Comparing the percentage of 
possible sunshine at San Francisco and 
Mount Tamalpais, it is at once apparent that 
the summer-afternoon sea-fog shuts out 50 
per cent or more of the possible sunshine be- 
tween 3 and 7 p.m. during June, July, and 
August. There is also curtailment of sun- 
shine between 7 and 9 a.m. during May, 
June, July, August, and September. 

In the winter, morning fogs, or, as they 
are commonly called, "tule" fogs, frequently 
occur. These are low-lying banks of con- 
densed vapor formed by cooling due to radia- 
tion and contact. The land surfaces are 
much cooler than the water surfaces, and 
hence these fogs have a decided motion from 
the land to the sea. The average number of 
foggy davs is twenty-four per year. 

In addition to the summer-afternoon sea- 
fog, moving from west to east, and the land 
or tule fog of winter mornings, there is a 
third kind of fog, which may be called 
smoke-fog. Under certain atmospheric con- 
ditions the smoke of the city moves seaward 
during the forenoon and returns about 1 p.m. 
as a dense black pall. This is the cause of the 
so-called dark days. The phenomenon is of 

brief duration, seldom exceeding two hours; 
but while it lasts causes some apprehension. 


Cowled and penitent, like a Friar of Orders 
Gray, the city kneels in summer afternoons 
on the lower steps of the altar hills. Beneath 
the cassock of fog — a loosely woven serge — 
are hopes, prayers, truth, and gentleness. But 
also under that robe of gray lurk cunning, 
greed, pride, and pretense. Like the merciful 
mantle of charity, the fog covers our many 
sins. We who love the city know that the 
gray covering stretched overhead, while it \ 
dims the brightness of the sun, is at once our 
greatest asset and our richest blessing. 

Would you know something of this 
mantle? Then climb the hills; for the city 
infra nubem — beneath the fog — is also a city 
set upon hills. From some of the upper I 
slopes study this wondrously wrought fabric. 
Seen from above, it is no longer gray and 
forbidding, but white as driven snow; a ' 
coverlet that throws back into sunlit skies 
the genial warmth of summer days. Watch 
it come into being far beyond the Heads. 
The very soul of the sea, it rises like a spirit 
from the breast of waters. Through the broad 
Gate, in a full-flowing tide, it veils the water 
and the land. Seen from below, a level sweep 
and monotone of drab; seen from above, a 
ruffled sea of light and shade, a billowing 
cradle for the imperious winds. Inland it 
spreads, and spreading, rarer grows, a thin 
gray line, to die at last — if but the eye could 
see — upon the burnished wheat-fields of the 
San Joaquin. 

And the sun, as it stands a moment on the 
water's rim, ere yet it bids our western coast 
"good night," sees not a cowled and sad- 
robed penitent, but a white-robed Youth, 
whose silken scarf waves loosely in the 

Lover of the City, is there no lesson in this 
two- fold aspect of the fog ? Seen in the hum- 
drum sweep of daily life, in the rush and 
routine of the business day, your fellow citi- 
zens are somber-hued and unattractive. Seen 
from a higher vantage-ground, fling they not 
back the genial warmth of their humanity, 
the sunlight of their truer selves? 

\PRIL, 1926 



San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 
i 425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 
Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. V. 

April, 1926 

No. 2 

IT is reliably stated that during the first 
month of this year 1926 the San Francisco 
dealers in scientific instruments did an un- 
precedented business in barometers. All Cali- 
fornia was watching the sky for rain; the 
Weather Bureau was the focus of nervous 
sand impatient attention; and the barometer 
:enjoyed an unusual vogue. 

"Everybody talks about the weather," said 
Mark Twain, "but nobody does anything 
about it." After all, what can be done about 
'it? The weather is incorrigible. Its habits 
are formed; it is too old a dog to be taught 
new tricks. 

But at least the weather may be treated 
with politeness, and made conscious of our 
gratitude when it behaves with humanity, 
when it responds to our sighs and prayers. At 
the end of January this year everybody in 
California regarded the weather with hos- 
tility, said nasty things about it, was abso- 
lutely out of humor with its habits. Then, 
lo and behold! February came, the weather 
relented and actually heaped coals of fire 
upon our heads. To be more accurate in the 
use of words, the arid weather had a change 
of heart and proved that it had a tender 
feeling for all of us by dissolving into a 
tremendous weeping spell of rain. 

"It is not raining rain to me; it is raining 
daffodils," sang the poet. The February 
rains did not rain rain-drops merely; they 
rained happiness and prosperity to divers 
classes of Californians. The February rains 
brought one kind of happiness to the farm- 
ers, another to hydroelectricians, still an- 
other to the water-supply men. A recently 
popular song was flouted, and Shakespeare 
came back into his own, chanting: "For the 
rain it raineth every day! Heigh-ho, the 
wind and the rain!" 

An effort is made in this number of San 
Francisco Water to treat the weather with 

the respect that it deserves when it accedes 
to our dearest wishes by sending seasonable 
rain. And not to slight another element of 
our weather, a certain amount of notice is 
herein taken of the fog. We need them both. 

JVilliam ^Babcock JEawrence 

[Continued jrom page 4] men who developed the 
Spring Valley system into its present magnitude 
and efficiency ; and be it further 

Resolved, That this Board join with W. B. 
Lawrence's other friends in Spring Valley Water 
Company — and all who worked with him were his 
friends — in expressing admiration for his high 
manly qualities, respect for his most unusual ability, 
affection for his memory, and sympathy for his be- 
reaved family. 


William B. Lawrence was a man with a 
wide range of interests. He lived a full, well- 
rounded life. A devoted husband and father, 
he presided over a family distinguished for 
courtesy, culture, and unostentatious relig- 
ious faith. He was also, in the best sense of 
the phrase, a man's man, delighting in mas- 
culine sociability, loving the sky and the 
stars that shine over a mountain camp. Rod 
and gun were familiar to his hands from boy- 
hood ; he was an excellent shot, and unerring 
in the whipping of a stream. With the fauna 
and flora of his beloved state he had an in- 
timate acquaintance that had begun in ob- 
servation and was constantly improved by 
deep readings, not only of nature but of 

W. B. Lawrence knew no distinction be- 
tween day and night when there was work 
calling him. There are many emergencies in 
supplying a great city with water when re- 
sponsibility cannot well be delegated; such 
emergencies always found him "on the job." 

He was an authority on county govern- 
ment, and his advice was sought by many 
who appreciated the richness of his experi- 
ence. The political obligations of every 
American citizen were very real to him; he 
had political ideals, and disappointment 
neither discouraged nor embittered him. 

Above all things else, he may be written 
down as one who loved his fellow-man. He 
was charitable in thought, word, and deed; 
he had a helping hand for the unfortunate; 
he had a host of friends among all sorts and 
conditions of men; and he will be remem- 
bered and missed a long, long time. 



April, 1926 

The Kingfisher of J^pmbard-Street T^eservoir 

TIS spring. "Hindquarters of Fancy 
Baby Mutton" and bundles of the pun- 
gent Mentha viridis are available at the mar- 
kets. Which means you can now eat roast 
lamb and mint without going broke. The 
chestnut venders in North Beach have gone 
into the hokey-pokey business. Guerilla 
swimmers below Cliff House are courting 
permanent goose-flesh in the glacial rip- 

Mike, the ancient kingfisher, wings once 
more to the reservoir on Hyde-street hill. 
And the denizens of that purlieu know fully 
that spring has come. He usurps the function 
of the bock-beer signs and the hired Jap 
carpet-beater that formerly told of the birth 
of the season hereabouts. 

Outside of the swans in Golden Gate 
Park, who chum with the reporters and get 
written up ever so often, Mike is the most 
eminent of local birds. He should be, for he 
has been commuting ever since the spring of 
19 1 6. Phil Bekeart, who espies him through 
a telescope from a nearby apartment window, 
reports that Mike has a few more gray 
feathers on his noddle, but is decidedly no 

For a bird that has been living so long, 
Mike has surprisingly little sense. True, the 
intelligence of kingfishers, like that of horses, 
has been greatly over-rated. 

His home is far up the Sacramento Valley 
somewhere, a fitting region for a fresh-water 
bird. Around dawn he sets out for San Fran- 
cisco. He flies over the Suisun marshes, 
where plenty of fish with tender bones in 
them are slapping about in the reeds. Then 
over the fiats at the Carquinez Straits, where 
any kingfisher can pick up a meal without 
half trying — on shrimps, tiny crabs, open 
mussels, and similar fauna. 

But not Mike. He keeps flapping his dew- 
laden wings, past the estuary, over the bay, 
and straight for this reservoir, arriving about 
time the milkman is haggling with the con- 
tiguous janitors about the bottles. There he 
encamps on the edge of the tank and looks 
into the water. 

The scenic assets of the reservoir are nil. 
No seats, no flowers, nothing; just an iron 
fence around. Nobody goes there except aged 
men driven out by the extreme noisiness of 

their grandchildren. One of these old-timers, 
with his face pressed between the bars, was 
staring at Mike yesterday. 

"Dunno what ails that fool bird," he 
grumbled. "There never was any fish here, 
unless somebody threw in a can of sardines. 
I tried to fish there myself back in the eigh- 
ties, but never got a bite. There was no rail- 
ing put up then. And what's more, I never 
heard of anybody else catching a fish in that 
water. Know how old this reservoir is? 
Seventy years old. It was made in 1856, the 
year I was born. 

"Now, that bird's been here every morn- 
ing for three weeks. He sits there for hours 
like a concrete eagle, looking for a trout. I 
dunno whether he's just plain goofy or an 
optimist. Kellogg, that expert in bird lan- 
guage, ought to come up and put him wise to 
the situation." — "The City Day By Day," 
by Idwal Jones in The Examiner." 

iA Flopping Lullaby 

f TT 7"HEN I was playing baseball some 
VV years ago a veteran ball-player of 
some years in the major leagues was signed 
by our club," said S. H. Fiderton, travel ex- 
pert with the American Express Company, 
who was a recent guest at the Whitcomb. 
"We became very friendly and asked to be 

"I was so tired the first couple of nights 
we were together that I turned in before my 
friend, and he arose before I did in the morn- 
ings. The third night, however, he 'hit the 
hay' before I went upstairs and was sound 
asleep when I entered the room. I found the 
bathtub faucets turned on full. Arousing him 
from sleep, I told him of his oversight. 

" 'Sure I know about it,' he told me. 'I 
turned them on purposely. What d'ye mean 
by shutting off the water?' 

" 'But, man, look at the water you're wast- 
ing,' I told him. 

" 'Can't help it,' he explained. 'You see 
I was born up in the Ozark mountains and 
there was a waterfall right back of the house. 
I can't go to sleep without hearing the sound 
of running water.' " — "Today's Best Story" 
in San Francisco Chronicle. 

April, 1926 



Uitruvius 'Descants on Water 

By the Editor 

OF the two ancient Romans who wrote 
learnedly about water, one was a water 
commissioner, the other an architect. The 
famous book by Water Commissioner Fron- 
kinus, the friend and appointee of Emperor 
•Nerva, has been reviewed already in San 
Francisco Water. It will be both instruc- 
tive and amusing to dip into that portion of 
the great treatise of Vitruvius, the architect, 
,which deals with the same subject. 

Vitruvius, author of De Architecture Li- 
bri Decern (Ten Books on Architecture), 
lived under Emperor Augustus and enjoyed 
a good deal of the imperial favor. He does 
not seem to have been a great architect, but 
he wrote on the subject with sagacity, and 
when his book, which had been lost for a 
long time, was rediscovered in the fifteenth 
century, it took its place as an authoritative 
treatise and exercised an important influence 
upon architecture from the very beginning 
of the Renaissance. 

Vitruvius devotes his entire eighth book 
to water, emphasizing the importance of the 
subject with these introductory remarks: 

"Water is of infinite utility to us, not only 
as affording drink, but for a great number 
of purposes in life; and it is furnished to us 
gratuitously. Hence the priests of the Egyp- 
tian worship teach that all things are com- 
posed of water; and when they cover the 
vase of water which is borne to the temple 
with the most solemn reverence, kneeling on 
the earth, with their hands raised to heaven, 
they return thanks to divine goodness for its 

Be it noted that when Vitruvius speaks of 
water as "furnished to us gratuitously," he 
means that it is a gift of the gods. The 
Romans of his time paid for water, even as 
we do — indeed, they too paid meter rates. 

The chapter Vitruvius devotes to "the 
method of finding water" is so good that it 
deserves to be quoted at some length. Water 
is easily found, he remarks, "if the springs 
are open and flowing above ground." But, 
"if that be not the case, their sources under 
ground are to be traced and examined." Note 
how this is to be done, according to the 
Vitruvian formula: 

"Before sunrise one must lie down pros- 

trate in the spot where he seeks to find it, 
and, with his chin placed on the ground and 
fixed, look around the place." In that matter 
of the chin's position Vitruvius permits no 
compromise, for "the chin being fixed, the 
eye cannot range upwards farther than it 
ought, and is confined to the level of the 
place." He continues: "Then, where the 
vapours are seen curling together and rising 
into the air, there dig, because these appear- 
ances are not discovered in dry places." 

"We should also," he says with justice, 
"consider the nature of the place when we 
search for water. In clay, the vein of water 
is small, the supply little, and not of the 
best flavour; and if in low places, it will 
be muddy and ill-tasted. In black earth, only 
tricklings and small drops are found, which, 
collected from the winter rain, subside in 
compact hard places, and are of very ex- 
cellent flavour. In gravels, the veins are 
small and variable, but they are exceeding 
well flavoured. In the strong, common, and 
red sands, the supply is to be depended on 
with more certainty, and is of good taste. In 
red stone, abundance and that of good 
quality may be obtained, if it do not filter 
away and escape through the pores. At the 
feet of mountains, and about flinty rocks, 
the supply is copious and abundant; it is 
there cold and more wholesome. In cham- 
paign countries (this means, on broad, tree- 
less plains), the springs are salt, gross, tepid, 
and unpleasant, except those which, perco- 
lating from the mountains beneath the sur- 
face, issue forth in the plains, where, espe- 
cially when shadowed by trees, they are as 
delicious as those of the mountains them- 

"Besides the above signs for ascertaining 
in what places water may be found, are the 
following: When a place abounds with the 
slender bulrush, the wild willow, the alder, 
the withy, reeds, ivy, and other plants of a 
similar sort, which neither spring up nor 
flourish without moisture. For these plants 
usually grow about lakes, which being lower 
than the other parts of a country, receive both 
the rain water and that of the district, 
through the winter, and, from their size, pre- 
serve the moisture for a longer period. On 



April, 1926 

these, however, we must not rely. But in 
those districts and lands, no lakes being near, 
where the plants in question grow spontane- 
ously, there we may search." 

Writers who try to trace water-witching 
(the use of the divining-rod to discover hid- 
den waters) to antiquity will look in vain 
for any mention of the subject in Vitruvius. 
He either knew nothing about it or dis- 
dained to mention it. The chances are that 
water-witching, which is more common today 
than most people imagine, was unknown to 
Greek and Roman antiquity. But Vitruvius 
does give us some rather strange-sounding 
formulae for finding water where the signs 
already enumerated do not appear. To quote 
again : 

"Dig a hole three feet square, and at least 
five feet deep, and in it, about sunset, place a 
brazen or leaden basin, or larger vessel, if 
one be at hand. It must be rubbed over with 
oil inside and inverted, and the upper part 
of the excavation is to be covered with reeds 
or leaves; on these the earth is to be thrown. 
On the following day let it be opened, and if 
the inside of the vase be covered with damp 
and drops of water, water will be there found. 
If the vase placed in the pit be of unburnt 
clay, having been covered as above directed, 
when uncovered it will be damp and per- 
haps destroyed by the moisture. A fleece of 
wool being placed in the same pit, if, on the 
following day, water can be expressed from 
it, the existence of water in the place is in- 
dicated, and that in abundance. Also, if a 
trimmed lamp full of oil be lighted, and 
placed in the covered pit, and on the follow- 
ing day it be not exhausted, but still remain 
unconsumed, and some of the wick and oil 
present a humid appearance, it shows that 
water will be found there, inasmuch as heat 
invariably draws the moisture towards it. 
Moreover, if in such a place a fire be made 
on the ground, and the ground, when heated, 
throw out cloudy vapours, water will be 
found in it." 

Vitruvius apparently intends that all these 
tests be used in succession before the pres- 
ence of water is conclusively affirmed. The 
next step is to sink a well; "and if the head 
of the spring be found, many other wells are 
to be dug round about it, and, by means of 
under-cuttings, connected with it so as to 
concentrate them." 

"The spring-heads, however," he says, 

"are chiefly to be sought in mountains and 
northern districts, because, in those situa- 
tions, they are generally sweeter, more whole- 
some, and more copious, on account of their 
being sheltered from the rays of the sun, of 
the trees and shrubs in those places being 
in greater abundance, and of the sun's rays 
coming obliquely on them, so that the mois- 
ture is not carried off. 

"Valleys in the midst of mountains re- 
ceive a very large proportion of rain, and 
from the closeness of their woods, as well as 
from the shade which the trees afford, added 
to snow, which so long remains on them, 
allow it to percolate through their strata, and 
thus arrive at the foot of the mountain, when, 
issuing forth, it becomes the source of a 

Vitruvius next gives us his theory of rain- 
fall, which, it will be agreed, is very well 
thought out and very clearly expressed: 

"Water collected from showers," he says, 
"possesses wholesome qualities, because it 
consists of the lightest and most subtle par- 
ticles of all springs, which, cleansed by the 
action of the air, and loosened by the tem- 
pests, descend upon the earth. 

"And the reason why showers do not fall 
so often upon plains as they do on mountains 
or their vicinity is, because the vapours as- 
cending from the earth at sunrise, to what- 
ever part of the heavens they incline, drive 
the air before them, and, being in motion, re- 
ceive an impetus from the air which rushes 
after them. The air rushing on, and driving 
in every direction the vapour before it, creates 
gales, and blasts, and eddies of wind. Hence 
the winds, wherever they travel, extract 
from springs, rivers, marshes, and from the 
sea, when heated by the sun, condensed va- 
pours, which rise and form clouds. These, 
borne up by the winds when they come 
against the sides of mountains, from the 
shock they sustain, as well as from storms, 
swell, and becoming heavy, break and dis- 
charge themselves on the earth." 

We are so used, from our studies at school, 
to think of Jove as "the thunderer" and "the 
cloud-compeller," that it may come somewhat 
in the nature of a surprise to find that there 
were scientists as well as poets in the antique 

Vitruvius gives us, too, some hints of the 
state of medicine in his time when he speaks 
of hot springs and mineral waters. He says 

April, 1926 



that "bituminous waters, taken inwardly, act 
as purgatives"; that "there is a species of 
cold nitrous spring which, when taken, 
purges, and in its passage through the 
(bowels, diminishes scrofulous tumours"; and 
ithat "there are other springs whose water is 
acid, which, when drank, have the effect of 
dissolving the stone which forms in the 
bladder." Vitruvius knew nothing about the 
importance of iodine in water, but he seems 
|to have known that certain waters caused 
Igoitre, as witness: "At /Equi, in Italy, and 
in the territory of the Medulli on the Alps, 
there is a species of water, the use of which 
produces swellings of the neck." 
j Correct remedies for simple goitre were 
kised even in remote antiquity, although the 
fact that all those remedies contained iodine 
•was unknown. However, Vitruvius seems to 
have been the only ancient writer who con- 
nected the prevalence of simple goitre with 
;the drinking of certain waters. 

The fantastic (or would it be better to say 
the seemingly fantastic?) is not lacking. "In 
lArcadia," he informs us, "at the well-known 
city of Clitorium, is a cave flowing with 
water, of which those who drink become 
'abstemious." Before scoffing at that, pause 
(to remember that the gold-cure is still with 
us. And is not this a reference to mercury- 
poisoning: "At Susa, the capital of Persia, 
there is a fountain at which those who drink 
lose their teeth"? On the fountain, he says, 
was an inscription of warning in rhyme. He 
• gives the verses, and they go to show that, 
.even before Omar Khayyam, Persian poets 
waxed eloquent when writing against water: 

A dreaded spring you see, 
Yet if their hands, good stranger, 
Folks choose to wash, they're free 
To do so without danger; 
But if from your tongue's tip, 
Just passing from the lip 
Into your hollow venter, 
This liquor pure should enter, 
Your tools for munching meat 
Straight on the ground will tumble, 
And leave their empty seat 
With toothless jaws to mumble. 

Many claims are made for water nowadays ; 
but is it ever said of water anywhere that it 
gives the drinker a good singing voice? Such 
was the property of the water of the town of 
Ismuc and the territory surrounding it in 
Numidia. Vitruvius assures us that he had 
the story at first hand. He says : 

"C. Julius, the son of Massinissa, to 

whom the town and territory belonged, fought 
under Ceasar the Elder. Lodging in my 
house, our daily intercourse led us to discuss 
subjects of philology. On an occasion, talk- 
ing on the power of water and its virtues, he 
assured me that in the above territory there 
were springs of the same sort, and that per- 
sons born there had excellent voices for sing- 
ing; and that on this account persons went 
to the transmarine market to buy male and 
female slaves, whom they intermarried for 
the purpose of procuring progeny, not only 
of excellent voice, but of great beauty." 

By research not too carefully checked, the 
press agents of our great singers might 
establish a connection between vocal pre- 
eminence and drinking-water. What water 
did Caruso quaff? Has anyone analyzed the 
water that John McCormack drank in Ath- 
lone? Two American singers have recently 
attained fame at the Metropolitan Opera. 
What about the water of Kansas City that 
Marian Talley drank, and the water of 
Bakersfield that wet the golden throat of 
Lawrence Tibbets? 

This resume of the Vitruvian essay on wa- 
ter cannot better conclude than with his 
tribute to the life-sustaining element. He 
writes : 

"Nothing is more necessary than water. 
For such is the nature of all animals, that if 
they do not receive a supply of grain, they 
can subsist on fruits, flesh, or fish, or some- 
thing of those sorts; but without water, 
neither the bodv of an animal, nor even food 
itself, can be raised, preserved, nor provided. 
The utmost diligence and labour, therefore, 
should be used in choosing springs, on which 
the health of mankind depends." 

When tenants of the Schroth Building in Stockton Street 
happen to meet their genial superintendent, Ed Glennon, 
they might inquire whether he thinks it is possible to 
bail out the Pacific Ocean, or if the Spring Valley Water 
Company can be drained in a short time. Glennon, it 
seems, volunteered as first aid when his sister was house- 
moving on Sunday. His particular stunt was to unjoint 
the gas-stove so that it could be moved. Ed discon- 
nected the water— or at least thought he did. Then he 
got a three-gallon pail and started his task of draining 
the tank. After he had been at the job for about an hour 
somebody remarked that it was taking Ed a long time 
to empty the tank. "You'll never get that job done," said 
little brother. "I'll attach a hose and we'll have that tank 
empty in a jiffy." The hose attached, the water still spouted 
forth. A great light dawned upon the assemblage. Genial 
Ed hadn't shut off the water from the main Spring Valley 
pipe and had been trying to drain the entire water system 
dry.— Harry B. Smith, in S. F. Chronicle. 



April, 1926 

zMizgzca/ £1 Tolin 

' T?L POLIN !" Colonel William H. Tobin, 
Iv quartermaster of the Presidio of San 
Francisco, exclaimed. "What do you know 
about that wonderful spring?" 

Both of us had made brief speeches be- 
fore the South of Market Boys' Association. 

I had met those delightful "roughnecks" 
for the first time. I had tried to make them 

Colonel Tobin had greeted them with a 
tear in his voice. For the colonel was born 
south of Market. The good old days had 
come back with a rush when he looked into 
the welcoming faces of 1200 neighbors. 

"El Polin," I whispered, "is the spring of 
many babies. Think of General Vallejo's 
sixteen children, Arguello's thirteen, Car- 
rillo's twelve, Jose Antonio's twenty-two! 
Consider with awe the large families of the 
soldiers stationed in the old Presidio ! 

"Why, it's even said that not only the 
Spaniards, but the Indians before them, 
knew of El Polin's magical properties! But," 
I sighed, "all I know is what I've read in 
Eldredge's fine book, 'The Beginnings of 
San Francisco.' " 

"Ever seen the spring?" the Colonel de- 

"Not yet. Mr. Lewis F. Byington, Mr. 
Luke Fay, and I plan to visit the Presidio 
some day. They want to show it to me. Mr. 
Fay knows exactly where it's located." 

"After they've shown you where they 
think it is," the Colonel was positive, "I'll 
show you. Let 'em try. After they've failed, 
I'll show you where El Polin pours forth its 
wondrous waters." 

A few days later Mr. Byington, Mr. Fay, 
Colonel Tobin, Angelo J. Rossi's son, and I 
descended from an automobile on the side of 
a hill in the Presidio. 

A bit of woods, a verdant slope, brambles 
and nettles — the Presidio drowsing in the 

"Gentlemen," the Colonel said, "this oc- 
casion is far more historic than you can 
imagine. Before I show you the spring, let 
me read you a letter — only one of many — 
asking to disclose the precise location of 
this most famous of all springs in Cali- 

The letter proved to be a request from a 

most important official begging to know just 
where El Polin is located. 

"I didn't tell him," the Colonel declared. 
"I've told no one. You see, not many per- 
sons even in the army know that I covered 
up the source of the spring thirteen years 
ago. I did it to save the spring from defile- 
ment. I was born in San Francisco and I 
love its every tradition. 

"On the other hand," the Colonel smiled, 
"everyone knows that El Polin supplies all 
the drinking-water used in the Presidio. 
But they know only that — " 

"How is it possible," I exclaimed, "for 
you to supply the Presidio with El Polin 
water and yet keep its source a secret?" 

"Gentlemen," Colonel Tobin waved his 
hand over the landscape, "where do you 
think the spring is?" 

"You told me," I declared, "that there is 
a pipe which carries the water from the 
spring one mile and a half to a place where 
your men fill the drinking-bottles. That's 
all I know." 

"Although I am not sure," Mr. Byington 
said, "I'd guess it gushes forth near that big 

"No, sir!" Mr. Luke Fay's kindly voice 
exclaimed, "I'd say it first rises to earth 
close by that fence. See the sun sparkling on 
the water!" 

"Come with me," the Colonel led the way. 

"Listen and you will hear it gushing up." 

In the stillness we heard the sound of 
living water. 

"Each of you gentlemen has given his 
word of honor not to disclose the location of 
the source. That pledge extends until I can 
make arrangements to have the spring treated 
in the way its history deserves. 

"I plan to have it dug out, the earth 
around it widened into a hole that shall be 
stone-lined. Above I'll build a cover to 
guard it from the rain and sun. A tablet will 
be set in the wall setting forth El Polin's 
wonderful history." 

"Let us drink to El Polin," Mr. Byington 

So we five lifted glasses of El Polin's 
sparkling water, in a toast to El Polin her- 
self. The spring of many babies. 

— Brett Page: "So This Is San Francisco," 
in San Francisco Call. 

Spring Valley \ty 

ater Company 


Benjamin Bangs 

W. B. Bourn 

S. P. Eastman Sidney M. Ehrman 

E. L. Eyre Robert G. Hooker 

Frank B. King E. J. McCutchen Charles K. McIntosh 

L. F. Monteagle Warren Olney, Jr. 

A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 


hairman or the Board W. b. Bourn 


John J. Sharon 

RESIDENT S. P. Eastman 

Assistant Secretary 

H. M. Kinsey 


Office Manager 

O. E. Clemens 

7 ICE-PRESIDENT E. J. McCutchen 


F. P. Muhlner 

7 ICE-PRESIDENT G. A. Elliott 


Benjamin Bangs 

Assistant Vice-President 

Theodore J. Wilder 



Assistant Manager, Water Sales Department V. E. Perry 

.ssistant Auditor D. W. Cooper 

Chief Adjuster 

Frank P. Clark 

Chief, Collection 

A. W. Till 

^hief Engineer G. a. Elliott 

Manager, Docks and Shipping 

H. Templeman 

Assistant Chief Engineer T. W. Espy 
)ffice Engineer I. E. Flaa 

Superintendent Agricultural 

F. W. Roeding 

Assistant Superintendent 

C. H. Schween 

Superintendent, City 
Distribution George w. Pracy 

Assistant to Superintendent 

Frank Peters 

assistant Superintendent O. Goldman 
"oreman, Service and Meter Joseph Kappeler 

Office Manager 

O. E. Clemens 

■"oreman, City Distribution P. D. Rice 

Director of Publicity 

Edward F. O'Day 

Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis 
Superintendent Alameda System a. w. Ebright 

Manager Real Estate 

Theodore J. Wilder 

Iydrocrapher S. M. Millard 

Purchasing Agent 

J. H. Le Pla 




Iifteen days before reaching Puerto 
\Rico, there was a scarcity of water, 
land the ration had to be diminished 
(the amount given for the twenty 
\four hours was but little more than 
a quart, nor were we allowed to ma\e chocolate). But 
Father Juniper o endured these privations with such 
patience that not a single complaint was heard from 
him, nor was there to be noted in him any sign of 
sadness. This caused no small comment, and some of 
the companions used to as\ him if he were not thirsty. 
He would always answer, "It gives me no concern," 
and if anyone would complain that he could not stand 
it, he was accustomed to answer, with quite as much 
wit as wisdom: "I have found a good remedy against 
feeling thirsty; and that is, to eat little, to 
tal\ less and so save my saliva." 



'AN Francisco I^ater 


Spring Valley Water Company 


Vo L U M E V 

July, 1926 

Number 3 

Increased <§upply and Service "Betterment 

ANEW epoch in the history of the water 
supply of San Francisco began in May 
(of this year when the city authorities, having 
Completed the transbay submarine line, 
which was the last unfinished link in the 
'Bay Division of the Hetch Hetchy Aque- 
duct, turned over to Spring Valley Water 
'Company for immediate use the entire Bay 
-Division line from Irvington in Alameda 
County to Crystal Springs Reservoir in San 
Mateo County. 

Water from the Calaveras Reservoir has 
(ever since been flowing through this Hetch 
[Hetchy Aqueduct to Crystal Springs, empty- 
ing into this big San Mateo County Reser- 
voir (second largest in the Spring Valley 
^system), through the outlet of Pulgas Tun- 
jnel, as pictured on the cover of this issue of 
Sax Francisco Water. 

Spring Valley Water Company is paying 
Ithe City of San Francisco at the rate of 
$250,000 a year for the use of this Irvington- 
to-Crystal Springs line. 

The Water Company is now able to bring 
from its Alameda sources 34,000,000 gallons 
more water than before, as the capacity of 
its own transbay lines is limited to 21,000,- 
000 gallons daily. Spring Valley is now ac- 
tually bringing across San Francisco Bay 
51,000,000 gallons of water every day. 

The water developed by Spring Valley 
and available for daily use in San Francisco 
has now reached the total of 66,000,000 gal- 
lons. And this is by no means the end of 
Spring Valley potentialities — additional de- 
velopment is not only possible but feasible. 

Twenty-four million gallons daily of ad- 
ditional water was the minimum develop- 
ment required of Spring Valley Water Com- 
pany under the decision of the Railroad 
Commission, and to assure this minimum re- 

quirement, the Company raised Calaveras 
Reservoir to a height of 220 feet, enlarging 
its capacity to a total of 32,800,000,000 gal- 
lons. At this stage of its development, Cala- 
veras Reservoir is capable of supplying 33,- 
000,000 gallons daily. At present, it is send- 
ing to San Francisco 38,000,000 gallons 

San Francisco and the peninsula com- 
munities supplied by Spring Valley are 
using an average of 44,000,000 gallons daily. 
The demand on the system has been increas- 
ing annually at an average rate of 2,000,000 
gallons daily. It is therefore apparent that 
Spring Valley, with a development of 66,- 
000,000 gallons daily, is equipped to take 
care of present needs and anticipated new 
needs for years to come. 

Following the amicable settlement of the 
water-rate problem in 192 1, the Company 
started a program of main extensions in San 
Francisco. Since July 1, 192 1, there have 
been installed approximately sixty-six miles 
of new distribution mains. The latest instal- 
lation is the most significant of all — the new 
line from Laguna Honda. Even before the 
additional water started flowing across the 
bay from Calaveras to Crystal Springs, the 
Company began the installation of this new 
pipeline to improve the water service in that 
large section of the city which is supplied 
from Laguna Honda Reservoir. Pictures illu- 
strating this installation are to be found in 
this issue. 

The route of this new distributing line is 
from Laguna Honda Reservoir along 
Seventh Avenue to Golden Gate Park, across 
the Park, emerging at Sixth Avenue, thence 
down Fulton Street to Fourth Avenue, over 
Fourth Avenue to California Street, and 
down California to Franklin Street. The line 


July, 1926 

has been completed across Golden Gate Park. 

This new line from Laguna Honda Reser- 
voir will improve water service for forty per 
cent of the consumers, domestic, commercial 
and industrial, in San Francisco. 

The population of the city has been grow- 
ing at an unprecedented rate, and new de- 
mands that this growth has made upon the 
Spring Valley system are met in part by the 
installation of this line from Laguna Honda. 
As evidence of the condition that arose — and 
that still continues — it may be mentioned 

that on December 31, 1920, Spring Valley 
had, within the city, 74,328 active water 
services, and that by May 31, 1926, the num- 
ber had increased to 98,289. This is a net 
increase of 23,961 services, or 32 per cent. 

Much remains to be done in order to give 
our growing community adequate water serv- 
ice. The engineering department of Spring 
Valley Water Company has worked out the 
necessary plans, but the financial problem is 
a difficult one, and will demand very special 

<L/f History of the Water <§upply 

Reviewed by the Editor 

RAY W. TAYLOR, a newspaperman of 
. the highest standing, has just published 
a book dealing with the history of the water 
supply of San Francisco. There are several 
books and a whole cloud of pamphlets con- 
cerned with this subject, but this is the first 
volume written from the historical stand- 
point alone. As such it deserves special at- 

The title of the book is "Hetch Hetchy: 
The Story of San Francisco's Struggle to 
Provide a Water Supply for her Future 
Needs." The book is beautifully made, with 
fine typography and attractive full-page illu- 
strations. It is an ornament to any book- 

Mr. Taylor has been for years a student of 
public utility problems as these have been 
worked out in San Francisco. He has de- 
voted himself very specially to the study of 
the water problem in this city — his studies 
having the advantage of combining historical 
research with practical, first-hand knowl- 
edge, the kind of knowledge accessible to a 
first-rate and conscientious reporter. The re- 
sult is that he has written a book which will 
serve as a reference work for all who desire 
to acquaint themselves with the water prob- 
lem of San Francisco and the conflicting in- 
fluences that have modified that problem — 
now complicating it, anon simplifying it — 
through the years since water was first served 
to our citizens through pipes. 

This first happened, says Mr. Taylor, 
when A. W. Von Schmidt, John Bensley and 
A. Chabot "organized the San Francisco 
Water Works on June 15, 1857, with Lobos 

Creek as their supply. John Bensley was 
elected president." 

After describing the first activities of this 
Bensley Company, Mr. Taylor gives the 
early history of Spring Valley, as follows : 

"Bensley's scheme inspired one George H. 
Ensign to organize a company of his own. 
From the earliest period a spring of fresh 
water came out of the side-hill at a point on 
Mason Street, about 100 feet north of Wash- 
ington and about 1,000 feet west of the 
Plaza (Portsmouth Square). This was the 
spring from which Juan Miguel Aguirre 
latterly secured his supply for his donkey 
and barrel system alluded to in the previous 

"Ensign took the necessary steps to claim 
this water. In 1858 he got a franchise from 
the Legislature to lay down pipes. Owing to 
the fact that it did not run more than 5,000 j 
gallons a day it was considered so insignifi- 
cant that the provisions, usually included 
in the franchises of that period, for supply- 
ing water free for all municipal purposes, , 
were omitted, with the exception that it 
might be drawn on for the extinguishment of ' 
fires. It resulted in years of litigation later 
on and was the cause of much indignation 
and bad feeling. 

"Ensign with his franchise organized the 
Spring Valley Water Works for $60,000. He 
spent a few dollars (not above $25) in brick- 
ing in his fountain. He laid a few pipes. The 
next year A. W. Von Schmidt left his asso- 
ciates in the San Francisco Water W 7 orks. 1 
He had ambitions to bring in water from! 
San Mateo County. 

.Y. I026 


"Schmidt interested Abel Guy, Pioche 
iiyerque & Co., and E. L. Sullivan, and 
Ijught the franchise from Ensign of the 
bring Valley Water Works. They also took 
cer a small supply that had been intro- 
aced from Islais Creek by the Islais and 
Minas Water Company. This company had 
lalt a dam across the creek near where the 
lission Viaduct now is. The water was led 
; a flume around the hillside to a reservoir 
Itween Sixteenth and Seventeenth Streets, 
now serves as the playground for the 
Ick-Wilmerding School. 

"The Spring Valley Water Works was 
lengthened still further by such men as 
I. F. Babcock, Charles Main, N. Luning, 
rwin Davis, J. G. Kittle and C. L. Low. 

was reorganized with a capital of $3,000,- 

00 with W. H. Tillinghast as its president; 
Id plans were made for large extensions. 
["These men secured the services of Her- 
mann Schussler, a young engineer, born in 

e little village of Rastebe, in the Grand 
uchy of Oldenburg, Germany. He had 
rape to California but recently, fresh from 
e universities of Karlsruhe and Zurich, 
e had had some engineering experience in 

"The choice of Schussler, while not real- 
led at the time, was a momentous one for 
le City of San Francisco. He was a domi- 
jmt figure in the affairs of the Spring Val- 
|y W T ater Company for fifty years. He de- 
doped the city's water system as it exists 
'day. Upon his recommendations the Com- 
iny little bv little secured its vast holdings 

1 over 100,000 acres of land. 
"Schussler was sent into San Mateo 

ounty to create what is now Lake Pilar- 
jtos. He built an earth dam across a small 
'eek there in a short time. Later as the 
j?eds of the city grew he built another dam 
nd created Lake San Andres ; then the con- 
fete dam which turned a beautiful valley 
lto what is now Crystal Springs Lake, nine 
jiiles in length. 

"The building of this large concrete struc- 
ire was an achievement widely heralded 
iroughout the country at the time. With 
lodern methods the dam has been exceeded, 
ut half a century ago no such structure had 
ver been built in this part of the country. 

"As the demand grew he prospected the 
dameda side of the bay for water. He dis- 
overed underground gravel supplies near 

Sunol, where the Water Temple is. He se- 
cured these for the Company as well as the 
artesian supply near Pleasanton, and at 
Dumbarton laid the submarine pipes across 
the bay which bring this water into San 

"Simultaneously with the building of 
Lake Pilarcitos dam the Laguna Honda res- 
ervoir had been built in this city near the 
present Relief Home. A flume 18 by 30 in- 
ches conducted the water from Lake Pilar- 
citos into Laguna Honda. The completion of 
this work was heralded with a celebration." 

After mentioning the absorption of the 
Bensley Company by Spring Valley, Mr. 
Taylor goes on to describe the acquisition 
by the Company of the Calaveras lands, and 
the city's first request, in 1875, that the Wa- 
ter Company fix a price for its properties. 
The Company asked $15,500,000, and the 
city officials declined the offer as excessive. 
Following this came a series of contentions 
concerning water rates. 

Out of these contentions was evolved by 
slow degrees a new relationship between 
public authority and public utilities. Mr. 
Taylor writes: 

"It has been said that there is some truth 
on both sides of any argument. In other 
words, that one side is never wholly right 
and the other wholly wrong. 

"In the differences between the people 
and the Spring Valley Water Works, con- 
tinuing over many years, both sides believed 
that thev were justified in their actions. 

"In the lack of an arbiter who could deal 
with the subject of rates, it might be said, 
lay the germ of municipal ownership. Court 
actions were too slow and complicated to 
deal with the annual fixing of rates. The an- 
tagonisms that had been aroused, particular- 
ly on the side of the people, finally led to the 
provision contained in the present charter 
which provides for the gradual acquirement 
of all public utilities. 

"It seemed to be the only solution for the 
ever recurring wrangle over rates. These 
wrangles finally were stilled with the change 
in the State Constitution in 19 10. This 
change provided for the organization of the 
State Railroad Commission and conferred 
upon it the right to fix rates, to make valua- 
tions of public utility properties, and gave it 
other large arbitrary powers. 

"It took manv Years of discussion before 



the rights of the people or the corporations 
were determined fully. If, indeed, they can 
be said to have been definitely determined 
at the present moment. They were groping 
about without a compass in an effort to end 
the irksome tangle." 

Mr. Taylor has discovered that the Hetch 
Hetchy was first studied as a source of water 
supply for San Francisco as early as 1882. 
To quote: 

"A map was recently discovered on file at 
Sonora, capital of Tuolumne County, dated 
1882, drawn by J. P. Dart, engineer, for the 
Tuolumne and San Francisco Water Com- 
pany. It is now in possession of City Engi- 
neer O'Shaughnessy. 

"The map shows a proposed diversion of 
water from the Tuolumne River at a point 
about fifteen miles northeast of Groveland, 
above the junction of the main Tuolumne 
River and the north fork. The water was to 
be conducted in an open ditch along the 
south side of the Tuolumne Canyon to a 
point near La Grange. 

"From this point it was to be piped across 
the San Joaquin Valley passing near Oak- 
dale and Lathrop, thence through the hills 
south of Antioch and Martinez to a reser- 
voir between Martinez and Berkeley. (The 
present San Pablo reservoir of the East Bay 
Water Company has been built apparently 
at about the location selected by Dart as a 
reservoir site. ) 

"From this reservoir one main was to 
pass through the east side of Berkeley and 
Oakland to Bay Farm Island, thence under 
the bay to Hunters' Point into San Fran- 

"A branch of this main was to extend 
southeast from Oakland to Livermore and 
San Jose, while a branch from Lathrop 
would go north to Stockton and Sacra- 

But it was not until 1894 that Hetch 
Hetchy was formally called to the attention 
of the city authorities. In that year George 
M. Harris wrote a letter suggesting that the 
city acquire his rights in the Hetch Hetchy 
Valley and along the Tuolumne River for 
its entire length from the mountains to San 
Francisco Bay, for $200,000. Nothing ever 
came of this, "but," as Mr. Taylor says, 
"the possibilities of the Hetch Hetchy had 
been pointed out." 

By 1900 the city was definitely engaged 

in estimating the possibilities of Hetc 
Hetchy. Meanwhile Spring Valley was aga| 
asked to make an offer of its propertie 
Says Mr. Taylor: 

"An unfortunate paragraph in the coij 
munication caused resentment on the part ( 
the Company. The supervisors in the resoli 
tion sent the Water Company said: 

" 'The Spring Valley Water Company is also 
quested to bear in mind that any over valuatic 
of its water system will compel the people of SJ 
Francisco to look elsewhere for their water su] 
ply. And the withdrawing of San Francisco 
market for the sale of the Company's water w 
reduce the value of the Company's lands to wb 
they are worth for agricultural purposes merel; 
"This paragraph drew a reply from 
water company in which it said : 

" 'It is not customary in ordinary negotiat 
that the buyer should demand a price for pj 
erty based upon its alleged power of destructioi 
"No offer was made at the time, as tl 
Company said that the supervisors had n 
followed out the Charter provisions regan 
ing the manner of acquiring a public utility 
After the fire of 1906, when Spring Va 
ley's revenues were greatly depleted, fl 
Board of Supervisors reduced water rate 
"making," says Mr. Taylor, "the situati 
even more critical for the Company. Wh 
the Company continued to collect the forn 
rates, its franchises were forfeited." At thfl 
time a Citizens Committee, of which Colon) 
W. H. Heuer, U. S. A., was chairman, recor 
mended the purchase of Spring Valley, II 
the supervisors ignored the recommendatio 
During the early stages of the fight f| 
Hetch Hetchy at Washington, Spring Vail 
opposed the city's representatives. Mr. Tai 
lor says : 

"Attorney Edward J. McCutchen ai 
Hermann Schussler insisted that the muri 
cipal administration was attempting j 
wreck the Water Company in order that j 
might be bought up cheaply. They insist 1 
rates had been reduced so that it was ii 
possible for the Company to finance need! 
extensions. In addition to this they said tl 
Hetch Hetchy project had been injected | 
'a big stick.' " 

In 19 10, during the administration ■ 
P. H. McCarthy, the first Spring Valley 1 
chase election was held. The proposal wj 
to incur a bonded debt of $35,000,000 
purchase all the Company's properties. T| 
necessary two-thirds vote was not obtain<| 
The vote was: Yes, {Continued on page / 

LY. I926 


3y lovely Pilarcitos — the footpath along the creek leads from the picnic gr 

to the Stone Dam. 

tquisite scenes, 

<^A ''Day at Pilarcitos 


)ILARCITOS lies embosomed in the 
hills, its two arms of gleaming argent 
lbracing the emerald ridges where the ver- 
ire runs from hill crown to water's edge. 
Wly is the beauty of the lake, virgin its 
rests. Its silver expanse, more than a thou- 
nd acres, reflects daily a hundred moods 
J wind and sky, now gray beneath the morn- 
g and evening mists, placid as a mirror 
id as clear at noon, reflecting the turquoise 
y; dimpling beneath the kiss of the breeze, 
stung to fury and rebellious wavelets in 
e rain storms of the warm, wet winters. 
The way to Pilarcitos lies by very pleas- 
it places. Branching westward from the 
ad that leads southward from San Fran- 
'sco adown the Peninsula, the way leads 
ross the dam at the southern end of the 

San Andres Reservoir, a famous bulwark of 
earth cored with clay, the irregular curve of 
which shows proof of the elastic strength of 
the structure, which, lying directly in the 
fault of the earthquake of 1906, bent but did 
not break. The gate of Spring Valley Water 
Company opened'; an upward climb com- 
mences through a region whose natural 
beauty has been changed only by the road 
that affords excellent grades for the motor 
car, and the telephone poles that stalk with 
giant strides across the hills. 

The road itself seems to hold sceptre over 
realms of rare beauty lying untouched, ra- 
diant in virgin loveliness, within twenty-five 
miles of San Francisco. Here in late June, 
mating quail run before the machine until 
the crested cock makes up his mind discre- 


July, 1921 

tion is better than bravery and flutters with 
his little brown sweetheart into the tangle. 
A turn in the road discovers deer, discon- 
certed but unalarmed, which gracefully 
bound up the slope and stand at gaze. Once 
on the trip a startled wildcat sprang for the 
upper bank and, snarling, glared defiance 
and disgust at the chugging car that had dis- 
turbed its breakfast-seeking stalk. The road 
is far more the highway of the wild, free 
things of the forest than of the men who 
made it. 

At the first curve that turns towards the 
heart of the ridge forming the main penin- 
sular watershed on the west crest of which 
lies Pilarcitos, the wind that blows free 
across a thousand leagues of ocean and that 
has met and conquered the barrier of the 
Coast Range, comes swooping through the 
pass with a strength that bids the stoutest 
motor slacken pace. Beneath, half hidden by 
the lower slopes, lying between the main 
ridge and its subsidiary hills, gleam the 
reservoirs, San Andres to the north, and, 
southward, Crystal Springs, part of the sup- 
ply for the city that lies, its suburbs plainly 
visible, twenty miles northward as the crow 
flies. They lie like a mammoth serpent, 
thirteen miles in length, curving in and out 
between the wooded shores. Across the lesser 

A natural wonderland is Pilarcitos, preserved through 
dedication to San Francisco's water supply. 

foothills the great Bay of San Francisci 
flashes like a silver shield beneath the sur 
that has just risen above the mountains 
the mainland. On one of the ridges above u 
stood the men of Gaspar de Portola in 1761 
who, while deer-hunting, saw through som 
opening of the forest the welcome waters 
the landlocked bay, and forgetting thei 
quest for fresh venison, hastened back t 
their commander with the news of discover) 

Back of us the scene remains almost un 
changed since the days of the first Governo 
of California. The lake of Pilarcitos, stil 
bearing its Spanish name of "the wate 
basin," has been enlarged by an artificia 
dam, but the hills are set with verdure tha 
is seeded from the old, the same redwood 
still stand sentinel, the deer roam freel 
through the valleys and on the slopes, or li 
on the ridges where the early sun awaken 

Before us and to the left and right th 
years have made a mighty change. To tr 
south the hills close out the view. Across tr 
Bay, Mount Diablo looms but dimly throug 
the morning mist, and Oakland and Al 
meda are but hinted at; but northward alon 
the county road appear the outskirts of Sa 
Francisco, Millbrae, the cemeteries, Colm 
and bayward, South San Francisco and tl 
dot that marks the black gorge of the B; 
Shore tunnels, piercing the hills that wil 
Twin Peaks hide the city proper from 01 
view. The fog, that, driven landward will 
the wind, hangs tangled in the forested cres 
behind us until the mounting sun disperse 
it, pours through the Golden Gate over tl 
waters of the harbor as yet unkissed 
warmth bv the sun; mantling the Mount 
Tamalpais in gray fleece. The early fir 
of San Francisco homes and factories co 
tribute their quota to the gray canopy tl) 
hangs above the land and sea, though piero 
already by the sun and soon to give pi a 
to a dome of cloudless blue. 

The mounting luminary has awakened t 
land with the warmth of his embrace. T 
air is fragrant with the scent of blackberri 
and delicious wild strawberries, that sllg 
search reveals, jewel-set with dew, sparkl 
amid leaves encrusted with diamonds. T 
spicy aroma of fern and flower, of oak ai 
manzanita, pine and redwood, comes frc 
the heights with the pungent scent of her 
and shrubbery, camisal, madrone, ver 

July. 1926 


santa, chaparral; the buckeye bears a thou- 
sand plumes of blossom, the air resounds 
with the music of a plumaged choir that sings 
from dewy spray and bough or pours out a 
morning song in mid-air. Quail call and 
fuzzy rabbits frolic, a coyote slinks like a 
ghost over the ridge, deer rise in stately lazi- 
ness from their hilltop beds and start to 
graze, the young fawns frisking by their 
mothers, the bucks leading a bachelor exist- 
ence once again. 

Up and about the road winds till at a 
sudden turn the eastern arm of the lake 
comes into unexpected view. The fog that 
has retreated before us still stretches from 
hillcrest to hillcrest, but the sun has caught 
the under side and turned it to radiant opal. 
Trees come to the edge of the water and are 
mirrored in it, verging the lake with emerald. 
On the further ridge, above the dam, red- 
woods are massed in martial array, the lower 
streamers of the mist floating like pennons 
from their summits. The mist pall breaks up 
rapidly, now that the sun is well over the 
hills, blue sky peeps through the rapidly 
widening gaps, and by the time the dam is 
reached and the western arm discovered, per- 
fect day has arrived amid the hills. 

The reservoir of Pilarcitos was construct- 
ed in the early sixties and was then, through 
pipe and tunnel and conduit, thirty-two miles 
in total length; the principal source of sup- 
plv to San Francisco. Its dam has been 
raised since its first construction and now 
holds back one billion gallons of water that 
eventually find their way to the San Andres 
Reservoir, two hundred and fifty feet below 
the Pilarcitos level of seven hundred feet. 

Leaving the dam and following Pilarcitos 
Creek southward, the road traverses a tun- 
nel of verdure. The speeding car runs be- 
neath the arching trees in a green twilight 
through which the sunlight softly sifts, here 
and there dappling the way where the leafy 
curtain is less thick. The firm road is the 
only soil uncovered. Ferns are everywhere, 
the stream sings unseen beneath a thicket of 
vines and brambles and then breaks into 
merry music in the open as it plays comrade 
with the roadway for a little while. 

Oaks and sycamores and madrone are 
here, interlacing their boughs above a thicket 
of a hundred shades of green, plumy with 
ferns, enameled with flowers, and set with 
luscious, sweet-smelling berries. Where the 

watercourse cries "halloa" to the path, it 
glides crystal clear above its now pebbled, 
now sandy bed. Presently it is lost to view in 
a thicket of willows through which a deer 
crashes with light bounds as the motor is 
stopped where the road narrows to a foot- 
path leading to a stretch of water, sunlit, 
tree-shaded, across which kingfishers flash 
like living sapphires, chattering in anger at 
the intrusion. Here is the inimitable Pilar- 
citos picnic ground, made notable by a foun- 
tain of Arthur Putnam's design. 

Around a bend is the Stone Dam, and 
the pool circles with trout and bass rising 
at a late breakfast. About the dam the 
deeper waters take a darker hue from the 
pines and redwoods that shadow 7 them, and 
water flowing freely in midsummer from a 
flume gives indication of the hidden sources 
of supply. From the left of the dam issues 
a wide flume carrying the water by a zig- 
zag course to San Andres. To the right is 
the narrow inlet flume which branches off 
as it clings to the sides of the gorges and 
gathers the crystal waters that come laugh- 
ing down the beds of little mountain brooks 
or tumbling over the rocky cliffs of never 
failing waterfalls. 

Here and there in some deep canyon the 
trees open and a wondrous vista of the vast 
and vejdant watershed is shown, lying ridge 
beyond ridge to the southward, across green 
groves to where the hills and the far distance 
melt into blue, but always the flumes, the 
tops of which form the only pathways through 
the gorges, reach out into hidden recesses 
where the tinkle of falling water sounds the 
presence of a living spring. As one nears the 
commencement of the flumes, built of red- 
wood fifty years ago and holding in preser- 
vation many of the original timbers, now 
clinging to steep hillsides, now stilting it on 
tall trestles across leafy ravines, level with 
the tree tops; the sound of running water is 
heard everywhere. There it falls gleefully in 
a series of cascades over a slope of slippery 
granite forty feet high, the spray dashing 
into rainbows ; here it gurgles with little bub- 
bling, choking laughs from pool to pool, 
slapping at the boulders in miniature rapids, 
silent in still and shady spots, filtering 
through rocks till the percolation forms a 
lacy veil of silver over the face of the quartz, 
dripping in unseen places; a harmony to the 
rustle of the foliage, [Continued on page 10] 


July, 1926 

Above : Installing a new line from Laguna Honda Reservoir. A twenty-inch connection at Sixth 
Avenue and Lincoln Way between the twenty-four-inch cast iron and the new thirty-inch steel main, 
looking toward Golden Gate Park. Below : The new 36-inch steel main in Sixth Avenue, in the Sunset 
District, placed in the trench ready to be welded. Due to the sub-soil being sand, every foot of the 
trench had to be supported as shown. 

fCLY, I926 


Above : Forty per cent of San Francisco will benefit by the new line from Laguna Honda. The new 

36-inch steel main in Sixth Avenue looking toward Golden Gate Park, showing the bridges required for 

automobiles. Below : Crossing the baseball field in Golden Gate Park. Work was started on a Monday 

morning, and by the following Saturday noon the ball ground was again in use. 



July, 1926 

[Continued from page 7] the harping of 
the breeze in the boughs, the call of the 
birds, the murmur of the shy world of the 

You can trace these smaller arteries of the 
system till, moss covered, they lose them- 
selves in a jungle of ferns, tall woodwardias, 
and the graceful plumage of less stalwart 
though no less beautiful growths. The glens, 
the glades, the deeper forests, are riotous 
with vigorous life and leafage, born of the 
moist mists that never fail from sunset to 
sunrise, the rains that, wind-brought from 
the sea, surge over the ridges nearest the 
ocean and curl down into the Pilarcitos and 
Crystal Springs watershed, bringing an un- 
varying supply of the life blood of the land 
— water. 

Here is the most beautiful portion of Cali- 

fornia, unspoiled by man, a park of Nature's 
own making, where beings animate and in- 
animate reach the perfection for which they 
were intended; a land of fountains, streams 
and waterfalls and lakes, of fern and fruit 
and flowers, of trees and thickets, of sunlight 
and shadow, of peace and plenty. All day 
you may wander through the woods and by 
brooks and meet no human being save, by 
rare chance, a guard whose duty it is to see 
that trespassers beware. Here all things grow 
and live according to the plan of the Great 
Gardener; the rain, the dew, the fog find 
unpolluted way through rock, by leaf and 
limb and grass-blade to stream and spring 
and lake where lie waters limpid, clear 
enough to serve as dwelling-place for the 
most fastidious naiad, as bath for the most 
exacting of Dianas. 

J^aying Submarine ^ipe- dairies in <£an Cjfrancisco 

By O. G. Goldman, Assistant Superintendent, City Distribution 

IN the year 1892 a twelve-inch cast-iron 
main was laid in Fourth Street and in 
Kentucky Street (now Third ) , from about the 
south line of the Channel to First Avenue 
South, now known as Arthur Avenue. Just 

Assembling the 12" cast-iron main on the pontoons along- 
side of the wharf on Islais Creek at Third Street. 

north of Arthur Avenue a stream was en- 
countered, called Islais Creek, and here the 
main was laid on a trestle. Several years later 
a twelve-inch iron main was laid in Fourth 
Street running north toward Market, from 
the north line of the Channel. 

In 19 14, the authorities having decided to 
dredge Islais Creek and thus open it up to 
navigation, the pipe-line was cut and 
plugged on the north and south sides of the 
new waterway. 

As the years passed and the district de- 
veloped, the desirability, particularly for 
fire purposes, of having the twelve-inch main 
again connected across Islais Creek at Third 
Street, and in addition across the Channel 
at Fourth Street, became apparent. 

It was therefore decided in 1925 to con- 
nect the main at the above locations, but due 
to the difficulty of getting the required ma- 
terial, the work was not undertaken until 
this year. 

The depth of the water in the Channel as 
well as in Islais Creek, at the present time, 
is about twenty feet below mean low water, 
but future developments on both these water- 
ways contemplate a depth of thirty feet. As 
ships, entering or leaving, might drag their 
anchors, it was decided that the pipe-line 
should be at least five feet below the mud- 
line after the contemplated developments 

July. 1926 



lbmarine pipeline 

ready to be lowered, the end of the 
of derrick barges. 

were completed. This meant that the main 
would have to be placed at a depth of thirty- 
five feet below mean low water and therefore 
a trench would have to be excavated across 
these waterways having a depth of sixteen 
feet, and this was accomplished by means of 
a clam-shell dredger. 

The pipe selected for these two submarine 
jobs was twelve-inch class "B," flanged 
cast-iron pipe; lead-packed flexible joints to 
be placed at proper intervals in the line. All 
bolts used in connecting the line together 
were of Tobin bronze and all gaskets were 
of sheet lead. The flexible joints were of the 
ball-and-socket type, with a movement of 
ten degrees from their center line. 

Except in minor details, the work of lay- 
ing the main across the Channel at Fourth 
Street and across Islais Creek at Third 
Street was identical. The entire length of the 
pipe-line which lay horizontal was first as- 
sembled on pontoons along the wharf-line. 
The main was suspended between the floats 

of the pontoons, being held in place by 
means of rope slings fastened to the pontoon 
stringers, so that the entire section was, at 
all times, above the water. One end of the 
rope sling was made fast, while the other end 
was free to pay out when desired, the length 
Of the rope being at least twice the depth of 
the water. After the horizontal section of the 
pipe-line was assembled, it was floated 
across the stream di recti}' over the trench 
into which it was to be laid. The vertical 
sections of the main were then swung into 
place and held in the vertical position by 
means of derrick barges, and fastened to the 
horizontal section. The height of these verti- 
cal sections was such that when the main 
was lowered into place the ends would pro- 
ject at least a little above the water during 
the mean low water stage of the tide. Bends 
making an angle of forty-five degrees were 
used to bring the ends of the pipe-line to the 
desired location. 

^'hile the main was beino; held above the 



July, 1926 

Lowering the main at Third Street and Islais. The men on the pontoons are handling the rope slings supporting the 
pipe. The entire installation called for unusual ingenuity. 

pipeline at Fourth and Channel assembled on pon- 
toons and ready to be moved into place. 

water, blind flanges were placed on the ends. 
The line was then filled with water, by 
means of a hose connection, from the adjoin- 
ing mains of Spring Valley Water Company, 
and subjected to the pressure of the system, 
which was sixty-five pounds per square inch. 

The ball-and-socket joints were absolutely 
tight under these conditions, and any flanged 
connections which showed any inclination 
of leaking were drawn up until dry. 

With the pressure on the line, the main 
was carefully lowered, one foot at a time, 
the ropes forming the slings supporting the 
pipe-line having been carefully marked for 
this purpose. When within two feet from the 
bottom of the trench, the alignment of the 
pipe-line was carefully checked, after which 
the main was lowered into place. 

No attempt will be made to backfill the 
trenches. It was found, by soundings taken 
two weeks after the main was lowered into 
place in the Channel at Fourth Street, that 
it was covered with mud for about half the 
depth of the trench, or about eight feet. 

July. 1926 



The work of connecting the submarine 
pipe-lines to the system was not undertaken 
until a week after the main had been low- 
ered, in order to allow for whatever settle- 
ment might take place. 

The main across the Channel at Fourth 
Street has been in service for some time, and 
by the end of June the main across Islais 
Creek at Third Street was transporting water 

to either side of the waterway, as required. 
The work of excavating the trenches, as 
well as the assembling and lowering of the 
mains, was executed by the American Dredg- 
ing Company of San Francisco, while the 
connecting of the two submarine sections to 
the system was done by the City Distribu- 
tion Department of Spring Valley Water 

The Pioneer Prohibitionist 

NEARLY every day for forty-two years 
he wheeled down Market Street in his 
shabby barouche, turning his benign coun- 
tenance upon the passers-by. The gloss of 
his stovepipe hat, the luster and expanse of 
his Mosaic beard, his Darwinian brow and 
conscious dignity — these proclaimed him a 
being out of the ordinary. 

Posterity has now forgotten Dr. Henry D. 
Cogswell. In San Francisco alone he had 
seven statues put up in his honor. If fame is 
to be adjudged by the total tonnage of statu- 
ary a man gets, then the Doctor was more 
famous than Pompey and Queen Victoria 
put together. 

He willed $100,000 to be expended in 
publishing his biography, written by him- 
self. Yet there is hardly a line about him 
in the libraries. At least he should have had 
a page in California history, for he was the 
first dentist to ply his craft in San Francisco. 

Dr. Cogswell came here in 1849 f rom 
; Connecticut, and with a capital of three 
j thousand dollars opened a dental office in a 
shack on California Street, near Montgom- 
ery. Miners flocked to him by the thousands 
to get their teeth plugged with the gold they 
had dug up themselves. Many insisted on 
having their molars pried out and replaced 
with teeth of solid gold, just for souvenirs. 
The young doctor had muscle, ambition, and 
enterprise, and prosperity was his speedy 

He invested his money in sand lots and 
had the extreme pleasure of watching his 
fortune grow to two million dollars. He re- 
tired early, and devoted himself to his avo- 
cation, which was preaching the gospel of 
temperance, for so prohibition was called 
in those days. 

He went to halls, and pulling out the vox- 

humana stop in his voice, rivaled John B. 
Gough in eloquence on the drink evil. He 
conceived the noble idea of planting the city 
with fountains, at the ratio of one for even- 
hundred saloons. 

It is to Dr. Cogswell's credit that he made 
a good start. In 1879 he presented to the city 
a fountain statue of Ben Franklin. It was 
unveiled at the corner of Kearny Street and 
Montgomery Avenue, just where the flat- 
iron building now stands. He. addressed the 
crowd, and received the plaudits of the mul- 
titude and the thanks of the grateful city 

Why should not art be the handmaiden of 
reform? Dr. Cogswell at once had an iron 
foundry in Bridgeport, Connecticut, turn 
out for him a score of fountains, with a 
statue of himself atop. 

Meantime he gave to the people the Cogs- 
well Polytechnic School, at the corner of 
Twenty-sixth Street and Folsom, at a cost 
of $400,000, and with a heavy endowment. 
That was a noble deed. The Doctor was 
always unselfish. The number of kindly 
things- he did unobtrusively was beyond 
counting. They far outweigh his vanity, a 
fault he shared with greater men. 

The statues came. To save San Francisco 
the expense of setting up monuments to him 
after he was dead, he relieved her of the 
burden while he was alive. He set them up 
at Market and Drumm streets, at Bush and 
Battery, on Kearny Street near the Hall of 
Justice, at the Market Street entrance to the 
City Hall, at the Ferry Building, at the 
Haight Street entrance to Golden Gate Park, 
and elsewhere. 

His fountain statues also sprang up like 
metallic fungi all over New England. One 
he presented to Brooklyn, for the City Hall 



July, 1926 

Park. The Brooklyn fathers wrote him a 
sarcastic letter. To this Dr. Cogswell replied 
in a document that was a masterpiece of 
noble and dignified remonstrance. 

The statues were over life-size, depicting 
the Doctor in an appalling plug hat, with 
antebellum trousers, iron chin-drapes, and 
holding out a glass of water to the pedes- 
trians. An iron dog, distorted with hydro- 
phobia barked at the water, viewed from 
above by an iron pigeon that looked like a 
dropsical parrot. Compared with a Cogs- 
well statue, Lotta's Fountain was of ex- 
quisite beauty. 

Horses reared in dismay when confronted 
with these specimens of Bridgeport art. 
Douglas Tilden, Bruce Porter, Jules Pages, 
Schmid, Gelett Burgess, and such highly 
sensitized persons clapped their hands over 
their eyes every time they passed one. And 
still the fountains went up. The apathetic 
Board of Supervisors accepted them all. The 
city roared with indignation. Newsboys, 
bond salesmen, flower-sellers, policemen, 
merchants, editors — all signed petitions of 
violent protest. What could the city fathers 

do? They didn't want to hurt Dr. Cogswell's 

One night in the fall of 1895 a g rou P °f 
artists singing the "Marseillaise" marched 
from Coppa's restaurant, in the Latin Quar- 
ter, to the gore of Bush and Battery, and 
lassooing a Cogswell statue around the hat, 
brought it crashing to the ground. 

That Amedee Joulin, John A. Stanton, 
Ernest Peixotto, and Burgess, who chanted 
of the exploit afterwards in deathless verse, 
were the iconoclasts, is a charge that has not 
been refuted. 

Dr. Cogswell grieved gently. He punished 
San Francisco by withdrawing his gift of 
two more statues and giving one each to San 
Jose and Pacific Grove. 

What, fellow citizens, has become of all 
our iron Cogswells? This rediscoverer has 
not been able to find a single one. 

Old Ben Franklin, however, is in Wash- 
ington Park, in the heart of the claret belt, 
silently espousing the old dentist's cause. On 
the plinth are carved the words: "California 
Champagne — Water." 

— Idwal Jones : "Rediscovering San Francisco," 
in San Francisco Examiner. 

A History of the Water Supply 

[Continued from page 4] 22,068; No, 11,722. 
Mayor Rolph took office in January, 191 2. 
A month later he initiated another attempt 
to purchase Spring Valley. His Advisory 
Water Committee, headed by Judge Curtis 
H. Lindley, recommended an offer of sale 
for $38,500,000 be submitted to the voters. 
The supervisors thought the price should be 
$37,000,000. The project fell through. 

Another attempt was made in 19 15. This 
time lands not used or useful were excluded, 
and the price was fixed at $34,500,000, plus 
one-half of the $2,000,000 then impounded 
under rate suits. The favorable vote was in- 
sufficient to authorize the bonds. It stood: 
For purchase, 39,951; against, 33,455. 

The latest attempt was made in 192 1 with 
the price of the properties desired fixed at 
$37,000,000. "Four mayors of San Fran- 
cisco," says Mr. Taylor, "endorsed the pur- 
chase. These were James D. Phelan, Edward 
Robeson Taylor, P. H. McCarthy, and James 
Rolph, Jr." Again the project failed of the 

necessary two-thirds vote. The vote stood: 
For purchase, 43,073; against, 30,992. 

Throughout this volume Mr. Taylor ex- 
hibits a fine impartiality in dealing with 
matters of controversy. Most of the contro- 
versial matters are "old, unhappy, far-off 
things," yet by the prejudiced and 1 by the ill- 
informed they can readily be made to assume 
an importance in connection with present 
problems. It is strange, yet true, that many 
who thoroughly understand the development 
of business in general are prevented by some 
curious complex from taking cognizance of 
the development of public utility business 
in the last twenty years. They do not attach 
the proper importance to the conditions that 
have arisen since the doctrine of "monopoly 
with regulation" has been worked out by 
public authority, primarily to serve the pub- 
lic and secondarily to permit utilities to 
earn a reasonable return. Mr. Taylor does 
not belong to this school of thought. He is 
abreast of the times. [Continued on page 15] 

July. 1926 



Ban Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 
Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. V. 

July, 1926 

No. 3 

j ATTENTION is respectfully directed to 
l\ the verses about Lake Merced by Mr. 
(Miles Overholt, of the Examiner, reproduced 
in fac-simile in this issue of San Francisco 
[Water. So far as the editor knows, this is 
the first lyric ever inspired by any unit of 
the Spring Valley system. 

Considering the number of beauty spots 
scattered over the Spring Valley properties 
ion both sides of the Bay, it is rather surpris- 
ing that the verse-makers have never felt the 
impulse to celebrate any of them. Surely the 
ftVater Temple is worthy of the poet's pen. 
purely there is the genuine stuff of poetry 
jin Pilarcitos (to which a prose-poet ad- 
presses himself in this issue). If a poet ever 
surveyed the skyline of San Francisco from 
University Mound Reservoir, would he not 
be moved to sing the splendor of the 
jspectacle? When Irvin S. Cobb toured the 
Spring Valley properties in 19 15, he de- 
clared that the loveliness of many spots that 
pere pointed out to him was a spur to his 
(imagination. But no poet except Mr. Over- 
holt has discovered any of these first aids 
to the "divine afflatus." 

Of course no true poet can be expected to 
wax ecstatic over pipe-lines and pumping 
stations, important as these undoubtedly are. 
But is there no fillip to the poetic faculty in 
the Jepson Laurel? Does the Stone Dam 
leave the minstrel cold ? 

Let us hope that Mr. Overholt's charming 
precedent will be followed. 

Histo?'y of the Water Supply 

[Continued from page 14] This is how he 
summarizes the situation : 

"Those who have followed the history of 
the troubles between the Water Company 

and the city during the preceding pages will 
realize that there were two main causes of 
trouble and dissatisfaction. These were: 

"First — On part of the people: Inade- 
quacy of supply and rate charged by the 

"Second — On part of the Company: The 
inadequacy of rates allowed by the super- 

"Throughout all the later years of litiga- 
tion the Company had complained that the 
latter was responsible for the lack of sup- 
lily. The Spring Valley contended that be- 
cause of the low rates fixed by the super- 
visors it was unable to finance the extensions 
and betterments needed to keep ahead of the 

"With the advent of the State Railroad 
Commission that body took the position that 
if corporations had to finance betterments 
and give the service demanded, they must 
be placed in a position of earnings sufficient 
to make their securities marketable. 

"The Supreme Court had held that less 
than a 6 per cent return was confiscatory. 
The State Railroad Commission by being 
slightly more liberal and allowing corpora- 
tions to earn between 7 and 8 per cent made 
it possible for utility companies to find a 
ready sale for securities and finance im- 
provements in advance of the actual need. 
. . . "It was not until 19 16 that the State 
Railroad Commission actually took over the 
fixing of water rates in San Francisco. While 
the commission had been in existence for a 
number of years, the Water Company was 
collecting rates in excess of those fixed by 
the Board of Supervisors under a Federal 
court order. With the termination of that 
action, whereby the Water Company was 
awarded over $2,000,000 in impounded 
moneys, the State Railroad Commission took 
up the work. 

"Not only have the rates fixed by the com- 
mission been satisfactory, but the commis- 
sion has been recognized as the general ar- 
biter on these and allied matters to such an 
extent that appeal to the courts has not been 
resorted to since the commission took charge." 

Mr. Taylor put the making of his book 
into the capable hands of Ricardo J. Orozco 
who embellished it with fine typography and 
ornaments taken from Sixteenth-Century 
originals. It makes an imposing volume and 
is priced at ten dollars. 




Songs of 



It took me a day to go there, 

It took me a day to come back, 
And I thought I was heading for nowhere, ^ 

I thought I wai clear of f the track- *$' 
But just at the edge of a sand dune. 

And just at the edge of the sea, 
Deep voices that rolled like a band tune 

Came rumbling and grumbling to me: 

"Merced I" they said 

Merced ahead— 

Merced*! they said. 

It took me aday to go there 

Because of the lingering views 
For wondrously sweet zephyrs blow there, $ 

And the hills are of gorgeous hues. j 

But it's worth all the time you can spare it 

A jewel that gleams like a star; 
A gem — and the town's proud to wear it — 

While the frogs sing its praise afar 

"Merced ("they said 
Merced ahead 

, Merced"! they said. ||f ! 'il r ' '' 
1 illl^'UilNWl' 1 ' 1 


,*•£{ <£% 

Through the courtesy of the author, Mr. Miles Overholt, this poem, one of a series celebrating the distinctive places 

of San Francisco, is given here in fac-simile as it appeared in the San Francisco Examiner, because it interprets 

the soul of a beautiful part of our water supply. 

Spring Va l l e y 

Water Company 


Benjamin Bangs 

W. B. Bourn 

S. P. Eastman Sidney M. Ehrman 

E. L. Eyre Robert G. Hooker 

Frank B. King E. J. McCutchen Charles K. McIntosh 

L. F. Monteagle Warren Olney, Jr. 

A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 


Chairman of the Board \y. b. Bourn 

SECRETARY John J. Sharon 

President S. P. Eastman 

Assistant Secretary h - M. Kinsey 

Vice-President a. h. Payson 

Office Manager o. e. Clemens 


Comptroller f. p. Muhlner 

Vice-President g. a. Elliott 

TREASURER Benjamin Bangs 


Comptroller f. p. Muhlner 

Manager, Water Sales 

Assistant Auditor D. W. Cooper 

Department o. e. Clemens 

Assistant Manager Y. E. Perry 

Chief Engineer G. a. Elliott 
Assistant Chief Engineer T. W. Espy 
Office Engineer I. E. Flaa 

Supervisor, Consumers' Accounts W. D. Ryder 
Supervisor, Collections A. W. Till 
Manager, Docks and Shipping H. Templeman 

Superintendent Agricultural 

Superintendent, City 

Department f. w. Roeding 

Distribution George W. Pracy 

Assistant Superintendent C. H. Schween 

Assistant Superintendent 0. Goldman 

Assistant to Superintendent Frank Peters 

Foreman, Service and Meter Joseph Kappeler 

Foreman, City Distribution P. D. Rice 

Director of Publicity Edward F. ODay 

Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis 

Manager Real Estate 

DEPARTMENT Theodore J. Wilder 

Superintendent Alameda System a. W. Ebright 

Hydrographer S. M. Millard 

Purchasing Agent j. h. Le Pia 





s soon as the expedition halted, a great 
many of the pagans came in,making signs 
of friendship and expressing their pleas' 
ure at our arrival. Their goodwill was 
greatly increased when they saw with 
what courtesy we treated them, and when they received 
the little presents which we gave them of beads and trin- 
kets to attract them, and also of our food. They continued 
to visit us frequently, bringing us presents of small value, 
principally shell-fish and grass-seeds. . . . In the explo- 
ration which we made we found that we were on a penin- 
sula without other exit or entrance than to the southward 
and southeast, as on every other side we were surrounded 
by salt water. On the east we had the inlet which extends 
to the southeast, although as it is only about three leagues 
wide we could easily see the land and the mountains on 
the other side. To the north stretched away another arm 
of the sea and on the west and south was the great Pacific 
Ocean with the roadstead of the Farallones at 
the mouth or entrance of the port. 



AS HE SAW IT JUNE 27, 1 776. 


an Francisco "Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 



October, 1926 

Number 4 

T'he Founding of £an Francisco 

By the Editor 

THIS year, and at this season, San Fran- 
cisco celebrates the one hundred and 
fiftieth anniversary of its birth. Ours is an 
old city, as age is reckoned in the West, and 
the story of the beginning has the glamour 
not only of age but of romance. The port 
of San Francisco, from the time of its dis- 
covery, assumed a very definite importance 
in international politics; so our beginnings 
thave also a special historical significance. 

Three great powers — Spain, England, and 
Russia — sought domination on the Pacific 
Coast, and regarded San Francisco as the 
key to success. Spain won, and to that fact 
we owe the peculiar richness of our back- 
ground. Reading the story of the founding 
of San Francisco, there is always a sense of 
pageantry hovering over the page. Those 
Spanish soldiers, those Franciscan padres 
did things in a ceremonious and gallant 
fashion. We have never quite lost their man- 
ner. It is to be hoped that we never shall. 

The great names in the story of the found- 
ing are Bucareli, viceroy of New Spain; 
Anza, the intrepid explorer, the wise colon- 
ist; and Serra, the president of the missions, 
whom David Atkins, a Californian poet, has 
called "soldier of Christ, adventurer, artist 
and engineer." The story is well known, but 
one does not tire of it. 

On the fifteenth of December, 1774, Vice- 
roy Bucareli sent from Mexico City a very 
important letter to Father Junipero Serra at 

"In consideration," he wrote, "that the 
port of San Francisco, when occupied, might 
serve as a base for subsequent projects, I 
have resolved that the founding of the fort 

should take place by assigning twenty-eight 
men under a lieutenant and a sergeant. As 
soon as they are in possession of the terri- 
tory, they will be sure proof of the king's 
dominion. For this purpose Captain Juan 
Bautista de Anza will take a second expedi- 
tion overland to Monterey from Sonora, 
where he must recruit the said troops. He 
will see that they take their wives and chil- 
dren along so that they may become attached 
to their domicile. He will also bring along 
sufficient supplies of grain and flour, besides 
cattle. . . . When the territory has been 
examined, and the presidio is established, it 
will be necessary to erect the proposed mis- 
sions in its immediate vicinity." 

This was the first move in the grand 
project of founding San Francisco. 

Bucareli 's letter was delivered to Father 
Serra by Captain Juan Bautista de Ayala, 
who arrived at Monterey on the twenty- 
seventh of June, 1775, in command of the 
"San Carlos," also known as "The Golden 
Fleece." This vessel is pictured on the cover 
of San Francisco Water. Captain Ayala 
had orders from the viceroy to survey the 
port of San Francisco in conjunction with 
the land expedition from Sonora under Cap- 
tain Anza. 

On the night of August 4, 1775, Ayala 
brought the "San Carlos" safely through the 
Golden Gate; so he has the immortal distinc- 
tion of being the first navigator to enter our 
port. Both San Francisco and Suisun bays 
were carefully surveyed. Near one inlet of 
our bay three Indians were seen weeping; so 
this inlet was named La Ensenada de los 
Llorones — the Bay of the Weepers. Later 



Father Junipero Serra, president of the missions of Alta 
California, whose dearest dream came true when the Mis- 
sion Dolores, dedicated to the patron saint of the Fran- 
ciscan Order, was founded 

this became Mission Bay. Ayala remained 
here for forty days, and the land expedition 
under Anza not arriving, he returned to 

Meanwhile Captain Bruno de Heceta 
came from Monterey to make additional sur- 
veys. Fathers Palou and Campa y Cos ac- 
companied him to select a site for the 
Mission of San Francisco. This expedition 
ascended Sutro Heights, Point Lobos, and 
Fort Point. Camp was made on the shore 
of a lake which was named, on account of 
the feast day, Nuestra Sefiora de la Merced. 
This, of course, was Lake Merced. Heceta 
expected to make connections with Ayala, 
but failing to do so, returned to Monterey. 

On September 29, 1775, in compliance 
with the order of Bucareli, Anza set out 

from Sonora, Mexico, for San Francisco. 
His party consisted of 177 persons, includ- 
ing women and children. He had a pack- 
train of 120 mules. After the great Anza 
himself, the outstanding members of this 
expedition were Lieutenant Moraga, and 
Father Font, who kept an invaluable diary. 

Captain Rivera, who was charged with 
the execution of the viceroy's orders, was 
not friendly to Father Serra, and to em-| 
barrass him detained the Anza party in- 1 
definitely at Monterey. For this he was! 
shortly afterward removed from Monterey to 
Lower California by the indignant Bucareli. 

But while the expedition was halted, Anza 
was not to be thwarted. His party had ar- 
rived in Monterey on March 10, 1776. On 
the twenty-second, taking with him Moraga, 
Father Font, and a squad of soldiers, he 
started for San Francisco. Father Font has 
this entry for March 27: 

"The day broke clear and bright. At seven 
in the morning we set out from the little | 
creek a short distance north of San Mateo 
Creek, and at eleven, having marched about 
six leagues, we pitched camp at a lagoon or 
spring of clear water close to the mouth of 
the port of San Francisco." 

This was Mountain Lake at the Presidio. 

Antonio Maria Bucareli y Ursua, the great viceroy of 
New Spain, who initiated the founding of San Francisco 
and whom the historian Chapman calls "the greatest hero 
who has ever appeared in the field of California history" 

October, 1926 



Anza, Moraga, and Font went to Point 
Lobos, then to our Fort Point — Cantil 
Blanco they called it — and examined the 

"I beheld," writes Father Font, "a prod- 
jigy of nature, which it is not easy to describe. 
I] . . We saw the spouting of young 
(whales, a line of dolphins or tunas, besides 
iseals and otters. . . . This place and 
jits surrounding country afforded much pas- 
jturage, sufficient firewood, and good water, 
favorable conditions for establishing the 
presidio or fort contemplated. Only timber 
iwas lacking, as there was no tree on those 
heights; but not far away were live oaks 
and other trees. The soldiers chased some 
ideer, but secured not one. Of these animals 
;we saw many today." 

They were drawn back to the spot next 
'day, and Father Font was more enthusiastic 
:than ever. "From this tableland," he writes, 
"one enjoys a most delicious view; for from 
there one observes a good part of the bay 
'and its islands as far as the other side, and 
jone has a view of the ocean as far as the 
Farallones. In fact, although, so far as I 
[have traveled, I have seen very good places 
and beautiful lands, I have yet seen none 
that pleased me so much as this. I do believe 
that, if it could be well populated, as in 
•Europe, there would be nothing more pretty 
in the world; for this place has the best 

Don Juan Bautista de Anza. captain of the Presidio of 
Tubac, who selected the site for the Presidio of San Fran- 
cisco, and who set an example of intrepidity in explora- 
tion and wisdom in colonization 

PI«n de U B«a del Puerto de S* n Franciwo, ,mu«lo en 37."49.' 


rl - 


f MP® 

Eura/a it dot ItjuilNm'onu. 

Padre Font's map of the entrance to San Francisco Bay, 

lacsimile of a drawing that accompanied his invaluable 

diary. In olden days the Pacific Ocean was called "Mar 

del Sur," or South Sea 

accommodations for founding on it a most 
beautiful city, inasmuch as the desirable 
facilities exist as well on the land as on the 
sea, the port being exceptional and capacious 
for dockyards, docks, and whatever would 
be wanted. 

"This tableland was designated by the 
commander as the site of the new colony and 
fort which were to be established at this 
port; for on account of its height it com- 
mands such a dominating position that it 
can defend the entrance to the port at gun- 
shot. At the distance of a gunshot it has 
water for the maintenance of the population, 
namely, the spring or lagoon where we 

Father Font is not to be blamed for think- 
ing that Mountain Lake would be a sufficient 
water supply. Almost a century later certain 
San Franciscans made the same mistake, and 
did not discover their error until they had 
spent considerable money. 

Next day, Friday, the twenty-ninth of 
March, Anza and Father Font explored the 
peninsula in another direction. "We rode," 


October, 192 


All trace of Laguna de Manantial, also called Laguna 
de los Dolores, has disappeared. Eldredge, who drew 
this map, says: "The Laguna de los Dolores covered 
the present city blocks bounded by Fifteenth, Twen- 
tieth, Valencia, and Howard streets. It was on this 
filled land of the ancient laguna that the earthquake 
of April 18, 1906, did such damage, wrecking buildings 
and causing loss of life. The Arroyo de los Dolores 
had its rise in Los Pechos de la Choca (The Breasts 
of the Indian Girl) — now Twin Peaks — and flowed 
down about the line of Eighteenth street 
into the laguna" 

says Font, "about one league to the east, one 
to the east-southeast, and one to the south- 
east, going over hills covered with bushes, 
and over valleys of good land. We thus 
came upon two lagoons and some springs of 
good water, meanwhile encountering much 
grass, fennel, and other good herbs. We then 
arrived at a lovely creek, which because it 
was the Friday of Sorrows we called the 
Arroyo de los Dolores. 

"On the banks of the Arroyo de los Do- 
lores we discovered many fragrant chamo- 
miles and other herbs, and many wild violets. 
Near the streamlet the lieutenant (Anza) 
planted a little corn and some garbanzos in 
order to try out the soil, which to us appeared 
good. As for me, I judged that this place 
was' very fine, and the best for establishing 
on it one of the two missions. . . . We 
moved a little, and from a slight elevation 
I observed that the direction of the bay was 
toward the east-southeast. Near this hill, in 
the direction of the bay, there is a good 
piece of level land, into which the Arroyo 
de los Dolores enters suddenlv like a falls 

as it emerges from the hills. By means oil 
its water all the land could be irrigated, and 
at the falls, which is very suitable for the 
purpose, a mill could be operated." 

On the eighth of April Anza's little party: 
of exploration was back in Monterey, and 
a few days later Anza departed for Sonora.) 
All this time the large party of colonists that; 
Anza had brought from Sonora was detained' 
in Monterey through the whim of Rivera.) 
Just before being removed for his miscon-j 
duct, Rivera ordered Lieutenant Moraga toh 
proceed to the port of San Francisco withj 
twenty soldiers and to erect the presidio onj 
the spot selected by Anza. He directed that 
the founding of the mission be postponed.: 

On the third of June, the "San Carlos") 
arrived at Monterey, and under orders fromj 
Viceroy Bucareli, took aboard the property) 
of the soldiers and colonists, church andi 
household furniture and farm implements — 
everything intended for the new presidio and) 

On June 17 Lieutenant Moraga left Mom 
terey for San Francisco with Sergeant Gri- 
jalva, two corporals, sixteen soldiers, seven, 
colonists, and five Indians in charge of pack-: 
mules and two hundred head of cattle. The 
soldiers and settlers had their wives and 
children with them. Father Serra sent along 
Father Palou and Father Cambon. Father, 
Palou is the historian of this memorable 

"On June 27," writes Father Palou, "the 
expedition arrived near its destination. The j 
commander, therefore, ordered the camp to) 
be pitched on the bank of a lagoon which j 
Senor Anza had named Nuestra Senora de ! 
los Dolores, and which is in sight of the j 
Ensenada de los Llorones, and of the bay j 
or arm of the sea that extends to the south- • 
east. Here all were to await the transport j 
ship to mark out the site on which to locate j 
the fort and presidio while the country was j 
being explored." 

On June 29, 1776, Fathers Palou and, 
Cambon said mass in a rude arbor at the j 
Dolores camp; so this is taken by historians 
as the date of the foundation of the Mission 
of San Francisco of Assisi, or Mission Do- 
lores. It was just five days before the Decla- 
ration of Independence. 

The padres were naturally interested in 
the condition of the Indians whom they had 
come to convert. Father Palou's account is 

October, 1926 


This drawing of the Presidio as it appeared in 
1*20 is from a tracing that was in the posses- 
of George Davidson, a first-rank authority 
on Californian history. Its accuracy was certi- 
fied by General Yallejo. In the upper left- 
hand corner the "magical spring of El 
Polin" is located near the beginning 
of the road to Mission Dolores 

lot complimentary. He writes: "The na- 
ives here are all well formed. Many of them 
lave beards, others are hairless and rather 
lgly. They are accustomed to tear out by 
he roots the hair of the eyebrows, and this 
enders them ugly. They are poor Indians 
vithout more of a house than a hedge of 
ranches to protect them somewhat against 
he high winds which prevail and which 
oolest them very much. The men go entirely 
taked, except that they cover the shoulders 
vith a sort of small cape pieced together 
rom otter skins and pelican feathers. The 
vomen cover themselves with nothing but 
ules strung together around the waist." 
On Tulv 26, the "San Carlos" not vet 

having arrived from Monterey, Lieutenant 
Moraga moved his camp from the Laguna 
de los Dolores to the north end of the penin- 
sula and set about the erection of temporary 
accommodations. The first structure was a 
chapel of tules, and there Father Palou said 
mass on July 28, and this is the first date 
in the history of our presidio. Meanwhile, 
despite Rivera's order to the contrary, Mor- 
aga detailed some of his men to start build- 
ing at Mission Dolores. 

The "San Carlos" sailed through the 
Golden Gate — her second entrance into the 
port of San Francisco — on August 18. Work 
at the presidio now began in real earnest, 
the plan being drawn by Jose Canizares, 


October, 19; 

Fort Point used to be Punta del Cantil Blanco, and the old Spanish fort was called Castillo de San Joaquin. This 
was built of adobe, with embrasures lined with brick. The parapet was ten feet thick. It mounted eight nine- 
pounders. Finished in 1794, it cost about sixty- four hundred dollars 

pilot of the "San Carlos." This plan called 
for an enclosure ninety-two varas, or two 
hundred and fifty-three feet, square. Inside 
this, and built of palisades and tules, were 
to be the chapel, officers' quarters, ware- 
house, guardhouse, and barracks for the 
soldiers and colonists, with their families. A 
house for the commander was also started. 

By the middle of September all these 
buildings were well under way, and formal 
possession of the Presidio of San Francisco 
was celebrated on the seventeenth of Sep- 
tember, 1776. This was an impressive cere- 
mony. Every Spaniard who could be spared 
from duty on shore and on the "San Carlos" 
was present. Father Palou writes: 

"After the holy cross had been planted, 
blessed, and venerated, I sang the first 
solemn mass with deacon and subdeacon. 
Thereupon the officers performed the cere- 
mony of taking formal possession in the 
name of our sovereign. All then entered the 
church and sang the Te Deum Laudamus, 
accompanied by the ringing of bells, the 
salvos of cannon, pistols, and muskets, to 
which the transport in the harbor responded 
with its guns. This discharge of firearms 
and cannon, and the sounding of bells at 

the same time, doubtless terrified the sav- 
ages, for they did not allow themselves to 
be seen for many days. When this function 
was concluded, the commander of the pre- 
sidio assembled all the people and displayed 
all the liberality the situation permitted." 

Meanwhile Lieutenant Moraga and Cap- 
tain Quiros of the "San Carlos" saw no 
reason why work should not proceed at the 
mission. They had men to spare from the 
work at the presidio, and these were sent to 
build a mission chapel and a dwelling for 
the padres. Says Father Palou: "In a short 
time a building was completed which meas- 
ured ten varas [or twenty-eight feet] in 
length, and five varas [fourteen feet] in 
width. This structure was of wood plastered 
over with clay and roofed with tules. To this 
was built of the same material a church 
eighteen varas [about fifty feet] long. Ad- 
joining it, in the rear of the altar, was a 
small room which served as a vestry." 

The chapel was solemnly blessed on the 
third of October, the day before the feast of 
St. Francis of Assisi, and on the eighth the 
formal opening of the mission was cele- 
brated in much the same fashion as the open- 
ing of the presidio. 

October, 1926 


£an Francisco in 1 8 1 6 

The following description of San Francisco is 
taken from a French work, by Louis Choris, pub- 
lished in Paris in 1822. The author visited San 
Francisco on "The Ruric," in the capacity of artist 
to the voyage of exploration under command of 
Otto von Kotzcbue. Dr. Eschscholtz, in whose 
honor the California poppy received its botanical 
name, was the physician for "The Ruric." 

The translation of the Choris narrative was 
made by Porter Garnctt and published in 1913 in a 
little volume entitled "San Francisco One Hundred 
Years Ago." Permission to reprint here was kindly 
extended by the publisher, Alexander M. Robert- 
son, of San Francisco. 

EARLY on September 20, 18 16 (old style, 
October 2 ) , we came within sight of the 
coast of New California. The land we first 
saw was what is known as Point Reyes, to 
the north of San Francisco. As the wind was 
favourable we soon passed the Farallones, 
which are dangerous rocks, and at four in 
the afternoon we entered San Francisco har- 
bour. The fort, which is within the entrance 
and on the south shore, is thoroughly equip- 
ped for defense. The presidio of San Fran- 
cisco is about one marine mile from the fort 
and on the same side; it is square in form 

and has two gates which are constantly 
guarded by a considerable company of men. 
The buildings have windows on the side to- 
wards the interior court only. The presidio 
is occupied by ninety Spanish soldiers, a 
commandant, a lieutenant, a commissary, 
and a sergeant. Most of these are married. 
The men and women are tall and well built. 
Very few of the soldiers have married In- 
dians. They are all good horsemen and two 
of them can easily cope with fifty natives. 

Two leagues to the southeast of tne pre- 
sidio and on the southern shore of the har- 
bour is the Mission of San Francisco, which 
makes a fair-sized village. The mission 
church is large and is connected with the 
house of the missionaries, which is plain and 
reasonably clean and well kept. The mission 
always has a guard of three or four soldiers 
from the presidio. The village is inhabited 
by fifteen hundred Indians; there they are 
given protection, clothing, and an abundance 
of food. In return, they cultivate the land for 
the community. Corn, wheat, beans, peas, 
and potatoes — in a word, all kinds of prod- 
uce — are to be found in the general ware- 

The Indians of M 

Dolores celebrating a holiday with 

native dance 


October, 1926 

JU cL fa/a-,, A Qty, 

house. By authority of the superior, a gen- 
eral cooking of food takes place, at a given 
hour each day, in a large square in the mid- 
dle of the village; each family comes there 
for its ration, which is apportioned with re- 
gard to the number of its members. They are 
also given a certain quantity of raw provi- 
sions. Two or three families occupy the same 
house. In their free time, the Indians work 
in gardens that are given them; they raise 
therein onions, garlic, cantaloupes, water- 
melons, pumpkins, and fruit trees. The 
products belong to them and they can dis- 
pose of them as they see fit. 

In winter, bands of Indians come from 
the mountains to be admitted to the mission, 
but the greater part of them leave in the 
spring. They do not like the life at the mis- 
sion. They find it irksome to work continu- 
ally and to have everything supplied to them 
in abundance. In their mountains, they live 
a free and independent, albeit a miserable 
existence. Rats, insects, and snakes, — all 
these serve them for food; roots also, al- 
though there are few that are edible, so that 
at every step they are almost certain to find 
something to appease their hunger. They are 

too unskillful and lazy to hunt. They have 
no fixed dwellings; a rock or a bush affords 
sufficient protection for them from every 
vicissitude of the weather. After several 
months spent in the missions, they usually 
begin to grow fretful and thin, and they con- 
stantly gaze with sadness at the mountains 
which they can see in the distance. Once or 
twice a year the missionaries permit those 
Indians upon whose return they believe they 
can rely to visit their own country, but it 
often happens that few of these return; 
some, on the other hand, bring with them 
new recruits to the mission. 

The Indian children are more disposed to 
adopt the mission life. They learn to make 
a coarse cloth from sheep's wool for the com- 
munity. I saw twenty looms that were con- 
stantly in operation. Other young Indians 
are instructed in various trades by the mis- 
sionaries. There is a house at the mission in 
which some two hundred and fifty women — 
the widows and daughters of dead Indians — 
reside. They do spinning. This house also 
shelters the wives of Indians who are out in 
the country by orders of the fathers. They 
are placed there at the request of the In- 

October, 1926 


lolovoni tribe hunting on the shore of 
San Francisco Bay 

dians, who are exceedingly jealous, and are 
taken out again when their husbands return. 
The fathers comply with such requests in 
order to protect the women from mischief, 
and they watch over this establishment with 
the greatest vigilance. 

The mission has two mills operated by 
mules. The flour produced by them is only 
sufficient for the consumption of the Spanish 
soldiers who are obliged to buy it from the 

The presidio frequently has need of la- 
bourers for such work as carrying wood, 
building, and other jobs ; the superior, there- 
upon, sends Indians who are paid for their 
trouble; but the money goes to the mission, 
which is obliged to defray all the expenses 
of the settlement. 

On Sundays and holidays they celebrate 
divine service. All the Indians of both sexes, 
without regard to age, are obliged to go to 
church and worship. Children brought up by 
the superior, fifty of whom are stationed 
around him, assist him during the service, 
which they also accompany with the sound 
of musical instruments. These are chiefly 
drums, trumpets, tabors, and other instru- 
ments of the same class. It is by means of 
their noise that they endeavour to stir the 
imagination of the Indians and to make men 
of these savages. It is, indeed, the only 
means of producing an effect upon them. 
When the drums begin to beat they fall to 
the ground as if they were half dead. None 
dares to move; all remain stretched upon the 
ground without making the slightest move- 
ment until the end of the service, and, even 

then, it is necessary to tell them several times 
that the mass is finished. Armed soldiers are 
stationed at each corner of the church. After 
the mass, the superior delivers a sermon in 
Latin to his flock. 

On Sunday, when the service is ended, the 
Indians gather in the cemetery, which is in 
front of the mission house, and dance. Half 
of the men adorn themselves with feathers 
and with girdles ornamented with feathers 
and with bits of shell that pass for money 
among them, or they paint their bodies with 
regular lines of black, red, and white. Some 
have half their bodies (from the head down- 
ward) daubed with black, the other half red, 
and the whole crossed with white lines. 
Others sift the down from birds on their 
hair. The men commonly dance six or eight 
together, all making the same movements 
and all armed with spears. Their music con- 
sists of clapping the hands, singing, and the 
sound made by striking split sticks together, 
which has a charm for their ears; this is 
finally followed by a horrible yell that 
greatly resembles the sound of a cough ac- 
companied by a whistling sound. The women 
dance among themselves, but without mak- 
ing violent movements. 

The Indians are greatly addicted to games 
of chance; they stake their ornaments, their 
tools, their money, and, frequently, even the 
clothing that the missionaries have given 
them. Their games consist of throwing little 
pieces of wood which have to fall in an even 
or in an odd number, or others that are 
rounded on one side, and as they fall on the 
flat or on the round side the player loses or 

Upon the demise of his father or mother, 
or of some kinsman, the Indian daubs his 
face with black in token of mourning. 

The missionaries have characterized the 
people as lazy, stupid, jealous — gluttons, 
cowards. I have never seen one laugh. I have 
never seen one look one in the face. They 
look as though they were interested in noth- 

It is reckoned that there are more than 
fifteen Indian tribes represented in the mis- 
sion. The Kulpuni, Kosmiti, Bolbones, Um- 
pini, Lamanes, Pitemens, and Apatamnes 
speak one language and live along the Sacra- 
mento River. The Guimen, Utchiuns, Olom- 
palis, Tamals, and Sonomas likewise speak 
one language. These tribes are the most 



October, iq2< 

largely represented at the Mission of San 
Francisco. The Saklans, Suisuns, Utula- 
tines, and the Numpolis speak different 
languages. Another tribe, the Tcholovoni, 
differ considerably in feature, in general 
physiognomy, and in a more or less attrac- 
tive exterior from all the others. These live 
in the mountains. They have formed an alli- 
ance with the Spaniards against all the In- 
dian tribes. They make beautiful weapons, 
such as bows and arrows. The tips of the 
latter are furnished with pieces of flint fash- 
ioned with great skill. 

Severe fevers occur constantly among the 
Indians. These maladies commonly carry off 
a very great number. Several missions in 
Lower California have gone out of existence 
in the past twenty years by reason of the ex- 
tinction of the Indians. 

The Indians at the missions to the south 
of San Francisco — particularly that of Santa 
Barbara — make charming vessels and vase- 
shaped baskets, capable of holding water, 
from withes of various running plants. They 
know how to give them graceful forms, and 
also- how to introduce pleasing designs into 
the fabric. They ornament them with bits of 
shell and with feathers. 

The Indians build their canoes when they 
are about to undertake an expedition on the 
water ; they are made of reeds. When they get 
into them they become half filled with water, 
so that the occupant, when seated, is in water 
up to the calves of his legs. They propel them 
by means of long paddles having pointed 
blades at both ends. 

The missions of San Francisco, Santa 
Clara, San Jose, and Santa Cruz depend 
upon the presidio of San Francisco, which 
is required to succor and assist all the fathers 
and to furnish them with soldiers when nec- 
essary — particularly to accompany them 
upon excursions into the country. One such 
expedition, consisting of two fathers and 
twelve soldiers, returned a short time before 
our arrival. It had been their intention to 
ascend the Sacramento River, which empties 
into the bay to the northeast of the mission. 
But the Spaniards met parties of armed men 
at every turn; nowhere were they well re- 
ceived. They were compelled therefore to re- 
turn after fifteen days without having made 
any progress towards the end in view. 

The rocks near the bay of San Francisco 
are commonly covered with sea-lions. Bears 

are very plentiful on land. When the Span- 
iards wish to amuse themselves, they catch 
them alive and make them fight with bulls. 

Sea-otters abound in the harbour and in 
the neighbouring waters. Their fur is too 
valuable for them to be overlooked by the 
Spaniards. An otter skin of good size and of II 
the best quality is worth $35 in China. The \ 
best grade of skins must be large, of a rich 
colour, and should contain plenty of hairs 
with whitish ends that give a silvery sheen 
to the surface of the fur. 

Russians from Sitka (Norfolk Sound), I 
the headquarters of the Russian-American I 
colony, are established at Bodega Bay, thirty I 
miles north of San Francisco. Their chief in I 
this new settlement is M. Kuskof, an expert I 
fur-trader. They are thirty in number and I 
they have fifteen Kadiaks with them. They I 
have built a small fort which is equipped I 
with a dozen cannon. The harbour will ad- I 
mit only vessels that draw eight or nine feet I 
of water. This was formerly a point for the f 
selling of smuggled goods to the Spaniards. I 
M. Kuskof actually has in his settlement I 
horses, cows, sheep, and everything else that I 
can be raised in this beautiful and splendid J 
country. It was with great difficulty that we I 
obtained a pair of each species from the j' 
Spaniards because the government had 
strictly forbidden that any be disposed of. 

M. Kuskof, assisted by the small number 
of men with him, catches almost two thou- 
sand otters every year without trouble. When 
not so engaged the men are employed at 
building and in improving the settlement. 
The otter skins are usually sold to American 
fur-traders. When these fail of a full cargo, 
they go to Sitka, where they obtain skins in 
exchange for sugar, rum, cloth, and Chinese 
cotton stuff. The Russian company, not hav- 
ing a sufficient number of ships, sends its 
own skins to China (or only as far as 
Okhotsk) as freight on American ships. 

Two hundred and fifty American ships, 
from Boston, New York, and elsewhere, 
come to the coast every year. Half of them 
engage in smuggling with enormous profit. 
No point for landing goods along the entire 
Spanish-American coast bathed by the Pa- 
cific Ocean, from Chile to California, is 
neglected. It often happens that Spanish 
warships give chase to American vessels, but 
these, being equipped with much sail, hav- 
ing large crews, and [Continued on page 16] 

October, 1926 



San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 
Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. V. 

October, 1926 

No. 4 

INTERESTING testimony regarding the 
quality of Spring Valley water is em- 
bodied in a letter that came recently to the 
editor of San Francisco Water from Pan- 
ama. The writer, a well-known San Fran- 
ciscan, sends the following: 

"I thought you might be interested in an 
unsolicited testimony which came to my 
attention a day or so ago, regarding the 
relative merit of Spring Valley water. 

"Chief Officer Wey of this ship, which is 
a Royal Mail packet, the 'Lochgoil,' told me 
the other day that Spring Valley water is the 
best water on the Pacific Coast. I was inter- 
ested as a San Franciscan, and drew him 
out to the following effect: 

" 'Spring Valley water is by far the best 
on the Coast. When we tie up in San Fran- 
cisco our tanks contain a mixture of waters 
taken on in every port from Colon to Van- 
couver, but we pump it all out and fill up 
with Spring Valley. Only once did we fill 

at ; but the first port we hit we not only 

emptied our tanks of it, but had to send a 
man down to clean out the mud — beastly 
stuff! Of course, I never drink water, but 
this particular water was too horrible to 
wash in.' 

"So you see Spring Valley will follow me 
to England, and I feel very much like the 
Count de Talleyrand, who took his own cow 
on his travels in order to suffer no change 
of milk. 

"I thought this would interest readers of 
San Francisco Water. It did me ! I sup- 
pose Don Bruno de Heceta thought the same 
thing when he landed with his water-casks 
at La Laguna de Nuestra Senora de la 

This issue of San Francisco Water is 
largely devoted to the very earliest days of 

San Francisco. The reason is that San Fran- 
cisco is celebrating her Sesqui-Centennial. 
One hundred and fifty years ago the city was 
settled by a handful of Spaniards who 
founded the Presidio and the Mission. As 
years passed, and the population increased, 
the little pueblo of Verba Buena took form. 
The growth was slow until 1848 and the dis- 
covery of gold in California. 

By virtue of its situation on a magnificent 
harbor, San Francisco would have become a 
great city in any event, but American occu- 
pation of California and the lure of gold 
caused San Francisco to grow with amazing 
rapidity. The most imaginative Spaniard 
who came here in 1776 was incapable of 
dreaming that San Francisco in 150 years 
would be a city vastly larger than Seville in 
old Spain. 

Spanish influence has always been felt in 
San Francisco. Our art, among other things, 
owes much to the inspiration that our artists 
derive from the Spanish background of San 
Francisco history. 

The cover of this issue of San Francisco 
Water bears witness to this influence. The 
picture shows the "San Carlos" entering San 
Francisco Bay. This illustration is from a 
splendid oil-painting by the San Francisco 
artist Mr. Geoffrey Holt. The painting is the 
property of Mrs. Weldon C. Nicholls, of 
Berkeley. Last Christmas, Mrs. Nicholls 
permitted Mr. Howard J. Griffith, of the 
American Engraving and Color Plate Com- 
pany, to reproduce this painting in colors. 
Our illustration was made from Mr. Grif- 
fith's reproduction. The editor of San Fran- 
cisco Water sincerely thanks Mrs. Nicholls 
and Mr. Griffith for permitting this repro- 
duction of a typically San Franciscan work 
of art. 

It is pertinent to call attention here to the 
cut of Father Junipero Serra that appears in 
this issue of our little magazine. There is an 
authenticated portrait of Father Serra, but 
most Californians are familiar with it, so it 
was thought well to use here a cut of the 
magnificent statue of Serra made by that 
great San Francisco sculptor Arthur Putnam. 

Although this statue stands in the Mission 
Dolores, it is not very well known, and the 
editor hopes that many San Franciscans will 
be sufficiently interested to make the ac- 
quaintance at first hand of this great work 
of art. 


SAN FRANCISCO WATER October, i 92 \ 



San Felix Station m. Carey, Prop. San Mateo Co. Cal. 
"Carey's is at the bottom of the lake" 

On the Way to Carey* *s 

By William F. Burke, Assistant Postmaster of San Francisco 

IT was in 19 12, not long after we had 
bought a new car and touring was still a 
novelty, that we ran down the main highway 
to San Mateo and turned westward into an 
inviting side road that wound along a creek 
and through a wooded canyon. My mother 
was with me, and my sister and brother and 
a friend, for in those days we traveled al- 
ways with a full car. 

As we proceeded, some strange familiar- 
ity with the hills and the road and the canyon 
seemed to come upon me and to grow clearer 
as we went along. Memories of childhood 
outings shaped themselves like gathering 
clouds until there began forming in my mind 
definite pictures of a place where, twice in 
my earliest conscious boyhood, long before 
my school days, we spent the summer. San 
Felix was the name of the place, but we used 
to know it more intimately as "Carey's," 

from the name of the man who owned and 
ran it. 

Carey's — a square, gable-roofed roadside 
hotel, set in a beautiful valley — a summer 
resort, a farm, and a change station on the 
stage line from San Mateo to Half Moon 

Before it, to the westward, rose the wooded 
hills. Behind it, to the eastward, the valley 
fell away in a gentle slope to a busy creek 
that sang and gurgled with a wealth of pure 
water even in the late summer. On this slope 
were berries and fruits and vegetables. To 
the north were fine farms and country estates 
that I dimly remember but cannot definitely 
recall. To the south was a long stretch of 
hay-fields and pastures in which dairy herds 
grazed, and drowsed, and grazed again, and 
where, too, a deal of construction work was 
going on, road work it seemed, with men and 

October, i 9 26 SAN FRANCISCO WATER 


teams plodding back and forth across the 
valley just at the foot of the Half Moon Bay 

Twice a day the stage rattled in, changed 
horses, and rattled out again, once on its 
way to Half Moon Bay and again on the 
return to San Mateo. It was a restful, hos- 
pitable, shut-in sort of place, beautiful in 
its setting among the hills. 

As our car chugged leisurely along, the 
road, the canyon, the creek, the towering 
hills, the dim consciousness of that turn to- 
ward the western hills from the main road, 
all came tearing aside my mental cobwebs 
and drove me back into the years before. It 
needed only to replace the smooth gravel 
road with one of dirt and dust, to merge the 
hum of the motor into the rattle of trace and 
whiffletree, to add the voice of the stage- 
driver calling to his horses, and I was again 
— there could be no doubt of it — on my way 
to Carey's. 

"Does it strike you," I said to my mother, 
"that this must be the road we used to take 

to Carey's ? Do you remember the stage road 
and this canyon and that creek? Do you re- 
member the toll-gate, a natural gateway 
where two walls of rock nearly closed the 
canyon; where the driver, without stopping, 
threw the toll-money on the side of the road, 
and we thought how nice he was to pay toll 
for all his passengers? If this is the road to 
Carey's we ought to reach that rocky gate- 
way somewhere along about here." 

My mother said nothing (she is a non- 
committal little woman), but just kept her 
eyes busy as we rolled along through that 
typical landscape, one that spells California 
in every rounded contour of hill and gulch, 
in every alternating patch of shrub and grass, 
of rock and soil, of growth and baldness; in 
the alders, the wild grapes, the oak and 
manzanita and madrone, that alternately hid 
and revealed the murmuring stream, and in 
the dense undergrowth that quivered in the 
heat haze and from which rose the hum of 
insects and the perfumes of the summer 

Site of Crystal Springs Reservoir as it appeared in 18S7, when work started on the huge concrete dam 



October, 1926 

From this hill the stone was quarried for the big Crystal Springs Dam. The 
Mr. Burke visited Carey's 

progress when 

Then we crossed the stream to the south 
side of the canyon, proceeded up the grade 
past the stately dam that holds back the 
Crystal Springs Reservoir, and, reaching the 
summit, looked out over the water shimmer- 
ing before us in the afternoon sun — our first 
glimpse of the Spring Valley lakes. 

We reveled in the wonderful beauty of the 
scene. The work of man had fitted so well 
into the plan of nature that the lake seemed 
there by right of ages of occupancy, despite 
the lichen-grown dam below us to our right 
and the grass-grown dam farther up the val- 
ley to our left, that between them held the 
lake imprisoned. All in one harmonious 
landscape, they seemed as if they had always 
been so. 

We started down the grade alongside of 
the lake, and again those memories of the 
hotel at San Felix began to shape them- 

"Carey's place must be just beyond here," 
I said as we turned to cross over the dam. 

But on the other side the road started 

abruptly up the hill on its way to Half Moon 
Bay. There was no hill of this kind on the 
way to Carey's. As a matter of fact there 
was no hill such as the one we had just come 
down from the summit to the dam we were 
crossing, nor was there such a hill as we 
climbed out of the canyon. 

In bewilderment I stopped the car half- 
way across the dam and looked up and down 
the valley, picturing again the old roadside 
hotel, the gateway of rocks, the fields of 
grain, the road up the hill to Half Moon 
Bay, and the teams plodding back and forth 
at the foot of the grade. ... A light broke 
upon me. 

"I know where Carey's is," I said, and 
pointed out over the reservoir stretching to 
the north of us. "It is at the bottom of the 

There could be no mistake. Carey's, the 
vacation spot of my boyhood, had been in the 
valley that now was filled with water. The 
dam where we stood was where the teams had 
been working; the gateway of rocks where the 

October, 1926 



In this party that inspected Crystal Springs dam-site in 1887 are included Hermann Schussler, chief engineer of 
Spring Valley; John Perry, Jr.; George Schussler, assistant to the chief engineer; W. H. Lawrence, general super- 
intendent; Lloyd Tevis; Thomas Brown, president of the Bank of California; Charles Mayne, director of Spring 
Valley; Charles Webb Howard, president; and Daniel Meyer. 

toll-gate was now formed the resting-place 
for the shoulders of the great concrete dam 
we had passed on the way out of the canyon. 
The only things left were the road along the 
creek and through the canyon on the way 
out of San Mateo and the road winding up 
the hills to the westward to Half Moon Bay. 
All the rest was under water ! 

As we lingered on the dam pondering 
over the change in the landscape, more mem- 
ories came to me. I remembered that when 
we went to San Felix the second time, along 
the road and around the hotel were strewn 
lengths of large-dimensioned cast-iron pipe. 
I had good reasons to remember these, for 
one day, as I sat on one of the pipes and 
kicked up my heels in the sheer joy of living, 
I lost my balance, tipped over backward, 
struck my head on the pipe behind me, and 
split my scalp open. I carry the mark to 
this day. 

We used to have the room in the northwest 

corner of the hotel on the ground floor, with 
one window looking out on the porch and 
across the road to the hills, and one looking 
to the north over the fields and up the valley. 
I remember that I found the key of our 
room fitted the lock of the dairy. A little fur- 
ther investigation showed me that all the 
work in the dairy was done in the morning 
and the evening, leaving the place locked 
and alone from about two in the afternoon 
until five. I like sweet cream. I have always 
liked it and did then, and so every afternoon 
about three o'clock I used on various pre- 
texts to get from my mother the key of our 
room door, and I would go quietly out to the 
dairy, let myself in, and lock the door after 
me. I would take the skimmer and go over 
all the pans within my reach carefully and 
thoroughly, wiping off any telltale smears 
or drippings. Then I would wipe the skim- 
mer clean, let myself out again after making 
sure no one was passing, and return the key. 



October, 1926 

I remember watching the men and teams 
working on the upper dam. At that time the 
main concrete dam had not been started. I 
remember how interested I was in what they 
were doing, but utterly careless as to what 
was its purpose. As I looked back I realized 
that I never did know what they were doing, 
for the first understanding came as I paused 
on the dam more than thirty years after, and 
from the dim memory of the relation of one 
place to another had the truth inevitably 
forced upon me. 

And I remembered how very far from home 
the place seemed; what a long ride it was 
on the road to San Mateo and on the train 
to San Francisco when vacation was over, 
and how, as we neared the city, we discussed 
whether we should get off at Twenty-fifth and 
Valencia or go on to Third and Townsend, 
both being about equally convenient, with 
the help of the old horse-cars on Valencia 
or on Third Street. 

And then finally home and bed, Carey's 
fading away into the recesses of my memory, 
there to be asleep for a third of a century 
until, without particular purpose, I again 
turned westward over the road to Half Moon 
Bay, and came upon the place where it had 

I have often been over that canyon road 
to the lakes since then. I delight to follow 
it to the westward, for every time I turn 
into it memories of those childhood days 
come back to me through the years now 
flying fast, and again I am rattling through 
the dust on the old Half Moon Bay stage — 
once more on my way to Carey's. 

San R 

rancisco in i 


[Continued from page 10] having, moreover, 
arms with which to defend themselves, are 
rarely caught. 

The commodities most acceptable to the 
Indians of the coast of Northwest America 
are guns, powder, bullets and lead for their 
manufacture, knives, coarse woolen blankets, 
and mother-of-pearl from the Pacific, which 
they use to make ornaments for the head and 

Ships are often attacked with the very 
arms that they themselves sold, and even on 
the same day that they were delivered. Most 
of them, however, carrying from eight to 
fourteen guns, are able to defend themselves. 

Such occurrences are frequently turned to 
profit, for, should they carry off one of the 
chiefs, they are certain to get a great deal of 
merchandise as ransom, and gain greater 
facilities for trading. 

May Heaven defend a ship from being 
wrecked on this coast! It is said that the bar- 
barous habit of eating their prisoners sur- 
vives among several of the tribes that inhabit 
it. When they build a house, or when they 
carry out some matter of importance, they 
put to death a number of slaves, as is done 
when a war is ended. Upon a man's death, 
they bury with him his wife and the slaves 
to whom he was most attached. 
* * * 

ONE of the pleasures of a vacation in the 
mountains is the water. There's a sweet- 
ness about good spring water that makes one 
understand the rhapsodies of the Psalmist 
and to realize that Woodworth's old oaken 
bucket hung in one of those prime wells in 
the granite that it makes you thirsty to think 

The pleasure becomes delight if the local- 
ity happens to be one where springs are 
abundant. Then one becomes a connoisseur, 
tasting and sampling critically, as though he 
were judging old wines. He finds favorites, 
and will have none of the others, even when 
thirsty passing by the lesser waters to drink 
only at the springs superlative. 

The beauty of these vintage springs, as 
you might call them, is that you can drink as 
much as you like from them without harm. 
Shelley used to scarify his throat with red 
pepper in order to increase the pleasures of 
claret. Fine spring water needs no such aid. 
When you find it on a warm day after a long 
walk you prefer it to the best growths of Bor- 
deaux or Champagne, pleasant as they may 
be in their place. 

You may, in the end, grow weary of vaca- 
tion and be glad to get back to the accus- 
tomed noise and hurry. But you never grow 
weary of that good spring water. That is the 
one lingering regret when all the rest are 

In spite of this regret, however, one comes 
back to San Francisco to be pleasantly sur- 
prised. While we will not attempt to com- 
pare it to mountain spring water, our city 
water really is good and tastes well. — From 
an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle, 
September 28, 1926. 



Water Company 


F. B. Anderson Benjamin Bangs W. B. Bourn 

S. P. Eastman 

Sidney M. Ehrman 

E. L. Eyre Robert G. Hooker 

Frank B. King 

E. J. McCutchen 


Warren Olney, Jr. 

A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 


Chairman of the Board 

W. B. Bourn 


John J. Sharon 


S. P. Eastman 

Assistant Secretary 

H. M. Kinsey 


A. H. Payson 

Office Manager 

O. E. Clemens 


E. J. McCutchen 


F. P. Muhlner 


G. A. Elliott 


Benjamin Bangs 



F. P. Muhlner 

Manager, Water Sales 

Assistant Auditor 

D. W. Cooper 


0. E. Clemens 

Assistant Manager 

V. E. Perry 

Chief Engineer 
Assistant Chief Engineer 
Office Engineer 

G. A. Elliott 

T. W. Espy 

I. E. Flaa 

Supervisor, Consumers' Accounts 
Supervisor, Collections 
Manager, Docks and Shipping 

Superintendent Agricultural 

W. D. Ryder 

A. W. Till 

H. Templeman 

Superintendent, City 


F. W. Roeding 


George W. Pracy 

Assistant Superintendent 

C. H. Schween 

Assistant Superintendent 

0. Goldman 

Assistant to Superintendent 

Frank Peters 

Foreman, Service and Meter 

Joseph Kappeler 

Foreman, City Distribution 

J. J. Miley 

Director of Publicity 

Edward F. O'Day 

Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis 

Manager Real Estate 


Theodore J. Wilder 

Superintendent Alameda System a. w. Ebright 


S. M. Millard 

Purchasing Agent 

J. H. Le Pla 


— From the Report of Don Jus-. Manuel ie 
Ayds tc the Viceroy of \eu Spsin on 
the Examination of the Port of Sdn Ercn- 
cisco, dated San Bias, November 9. 1775. 

o one till the seventeenth century had 
guessed what might be the relations of 
stone and water, each equally obedient to 
the artist's hand. The medieval Italian 
fountain is a tan\, a huge washtub fed 
from lions'' mouths, as if by taps, and ornamented, more 
or less, with architectural and sculptured devices. In the 
Renaissance we get complicated wor\s of art — J^eptunes 
with tridents throne above sirens squeezing their breasts, 
and cupids riding on dolphins, li\e the beautiful fountain 
of Bologna . . . But these fountains do equally well when 
dry, equally well translated into bronze or silver; they 
are wonderful salt 'cellars or fruit' dishes; everything is 
delightful except the water, which spurts in meagre threads 
as from a garden'hose. They are the fitting ornament of 
Florence, where there is pure drin\ing water only on 
Sundays and holidays, of Bologna, where there is never 
any at all. °s& The seventeenth century made a very difi 
ferent thing of its fountains— something as cool, as watery, 
as the jets which gurgle and splash in Moorish gardens 
and halls, and full of form and fancy withal, the water 
never alone, but accompanied by its watery suggestion oj 
power and will and whim. They are so absolutely 
right, these Roman fountains. . . . 

In Old Italian Gardens 

an Francisco Witer 


Spring Valley Water Company 


Volume VI 

January, 1927 

Number i 


The Approach of "Perpetual Waters y 

Bv the Editor 


HE Romans,*' wrote Alice Meynell, 
'knew how to cause the parted floods 
to measure their plain with the strong, 
steady, and level flight of arches from the 
watersheds in the hills to the arid city; and 

. having the waters captive, they knew how to 
compel them to take part, by fountains, in 
this Roman triumph. They had the wit to 

: boast thus of their brilliant prisoner. . . . 
You could not look to the city from the 
mountains or to the distance from the city 
without seeing the approach of those per- 
petual waters." 

Tpon the traveler whose imagination 
plays against a background of Roman his- 
tory the aqueducts of the Eternal City ex- 

; ercise a never-ending fascination. Those old 
Romans made both war and peace in the 
grand manner. Their legions and their ships 
of offense moved with a conquering cadence. 
Their architects and engineers thought 
and wrought in the scale of immortality. On 
the bloody sands of the Flavian Amphi- 
theater the gladiators saluted Caesar with 
"Morituri, salutamus," but the Coliseum 
itself has always seemed to say, "Ave, Roma 
Immortalis." And the aqueducts, marching 
across the Campagna "to take part, by 
fountains, in this Roman triumph," utter the 
same proud phrase. 

In Rome, as in the empires that preceded 
Rome, tremendous expenditures of brain, 
time, and labor were made to solve the pri- 
mary problem of water supply. But Rome, 
far more than the precedent empires upon 
whose ruins she rose, gave to water all that 
she could command of art in order that hv- 

draulic engineering might be beautified and 
water ennobled. 

Roman architecture has been endlessly 
acclaimed, but Roman engineering has not 
always received its due. "In comparing 
Greek and Roman aqueducts," writes 
Thomas Ashby, director of the British 
School of Archeology at Rome, "many writ- 
ers have enlarged on the greatness of the lat- 
ter as an example of Roman contempt for 
natural obstacles, or even of Roman igno- 
rance of the laws of nature. Now, in the first 
place, the Romans were not unacquainted 
with the law that water finds its own level 
(see Pliny, Hist. Nat. xxxi. 57, 'subit alti- 
tudinem exortus sui'), and took full ad- 
vantage of it in the construction of lofty 
fountains and the supplying of the upper 
floors of houses. That they built aqueducts 
across valleys in preference to carrying 
pipes underground was due simply to 
economy. Pipes had to be made of lead 
which was weak, or of bronze which was 
expensive; and the Romans were not suffi- 
ciently expert in the casting of large pipes 
which would stand a very great pressure to 
employ them for the whole course of a great 
aqueduct. Secondly, the water was so ex- 
tremely hard that it was important that the 
channels should be readily accessible for re- 
pair as well as for the detection of leakage. 
Moreover, the Roman aqueducts did not, in 
fact, preserve a straight line regardless of 
the configuration of the country. A striking 
example is the aqueduct of Nemausus 
(Nimes), the springs of which are some ten 
miles from the town, [Continued on page 14] 


January, 192 

itiit-'tj t • • 

Aqua Claudia, one of the most famous of ancient Rome's eleven aqueducts, was begun by the Emperor 

Caligula in A. D. 38, and completed by the Emperor Claudius in A. D. 52. Its farthest spring, the 

Fons Albudinus, was about forty-five miles from Rome. It crossed ravines and tunneled hills until 

within seven miles of the city, entering upon a magnificent line of arches. 




''"'" "^ll l» llllilllL 

The ruins of Aqua Claudia form one of the most conspicuous features of the Campagna. Though only 

finished in A. D. 52, restorations and repairs were found necessary under Emperor Vespasian in 

A. D. 70 and Emperor Titus in A. D. 80. This surprising need is laid either to hasty or to dishonest 

construction — the inscriptions recording the fact are discreet. 


January, 192 J 

Aqua Claudia within the Eternal City. Above the archway in the lower left-hand picture Claudia 

anciently found one of its city distributing reservoirs. An inscription on the lower arch to the right 

records the repair of Aqua Claudia during the pontificate of Pope Sixtus V, in the year 1585. The 

arch was built as part of this extensive rehabilitation. 



The influence of Roman architecture and engineering persisted for centuries in Spain, and was re- 
vived in medieval times. Plasencia (above) was the site of a Roman settlement, but this aqueduct was 
built in the Middle Ages. Teruel (below) is a city of Aragon that boasts an admirably constructed 
two-storied aqueduct. Started in 1537, it was completed in 1558. 


January, igl 

Tarragona (above), with a history going back to Julius Caesar and beyond, has an aqueduct dating 

from imperial times. The length is twenty-two miles, part underground. It was restored to use between 

1780 and 1800. Merida (below) dates back to 23 B. C. and was once known as "the Spanish Rome." 

Its ruined aqueduct shows three tiers in brick and granite. 

January, 1927 


One of the noblest Roman works extant in Spain is the aqueduct of Segovia. It dates from Augustus, 

and was restored under the Flavians or Trajan. It was partly destroyed when the Moors besieged 

Segovia in the eleventh century, but was rebuilt by Isabella the Catholic and dedicated to the Blessed 

Virgin and St. Sebastian, whose shrines remain. 


January, 1927 


I ■- I m 

This section of the Roman aqueduct of Segovia, called El Puente, traverses a deep valley, the suburbs, 

and part of the city. For part of the distance it has two stages. It is built entirely of blocks of granite, 

without either mortar or clamps. The main storage reservoir for Segovia's supply of mountain water 

is outside the city, beyond El Puente. 

January, 1927 


Madrid derives its water supply from the Valley of the Lozoya. There, at an elevation of 8,040 feet 
above the sea, a granite-walled stream is diverted and carried forty-three miles to the capital. Above, 
a reservoir on this great system. It is shown incomplete ; after roofing, it was covered with earth. Be- 
low, the Old Reservoir in Madrid, where art does honor to water. 









Lozoya water on its way to Madrid, a city about the same size as San Francisco. The Madrid Water 
Conduit — so the works are called — dates from the late fifties of the last century, like our water supply. 
This photograph was taken during construction, and records a time when hydraulic engineers wore 

frock coats and canes. 

January, 1927 


I San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 

Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. VI. 

January, 1927 

No. 1 

"Traverse the desert, and then ye can tell 
What treasures exist in the deep cold well ; 
Sink in despair on the red, parched earth, 
And then ye may reckon what water is worth." 

THE simple fact not to be forgotten 
about water is that, no matter under 
what difficulties, it is always brought to 
those that need it. Great cities — and San 
Francisco is one of them — may have been 
placed by their founders in situations not 
friendly to easy water supply. But there was 
a sound reason for the sites upon which they 
were 'built, and that being so, no effort to 
supply them with water was deemed too 
great a tax upon the energies of their people. 

Rome became Rome under Romulus and 
Remus (if we accept the story of its tradi- 
tional origin, and traditions have an un- 
canny faculty of proving to be true), because 
the Tiber was the largest and most navigable 
river in the Italian peninsula. Water for the 
great city that Rome rapidly became had to 
be sought at a distance. Hence the tremen- 
dous system of Roman aqueducts, the first 
of them built in the year 312 B. C. San Fran- 
cisco, one of the precocious children of very 
recent history, was built upon a harbor, 
without reference to water supply. The har- 
bor justified those that laid the foundation 
of the city — water came to San Francisco 
because, despite the difficulties of trans- 
mission, San Francisco had to have water. 

No apology is necessary for presenting the 
readers of San Francisco Water with the 
beautiful series of aqueduct pictures set 
forth in this issue. One does not have to be 
architect or engineer to appreciate them. 
They tell their own story, and it is a story 
of grandeur, of nobility, of beauty made 
handmaiden to the most urgent demand of 
practical life. These pictures, aside from 
their own interest, should excite our admira- 

tion for the labors of present-day hydraulic 
engineers. Aqua Claudia is sublime — but 
what of the first Pilarcitos pipe-line brought 
from miles away to San Francisco by Her- 
mann Schussler? . . . Perhaps we are 
too self-conscious to celebrate our own en- 
gineers in the way that Livy, Pliny, and 
Strabo celebrated those great Romans who 
brought water to their beloved city. But, 
nevertheless, these engineers of ours are do- 
ing work comparable with that which made 
certain ancient Romans, like Agrippa, im- 

Spring Valley Water Company owes the 
series of pictures embodied in this issue to 
the thoughtfulness of Mr. Gardner Dailey, 
who during a tour of Europe that embraced 
the most intimate of interests found time to 
gather photographs of aqueducts rarely seen 
in books, and to supplement this collection 
by others from his own camera. To Mr. 
Dailey 's willingness to sacrifice days of his 
precious time in Europe, we owe pictures of 
Aqua Claudia that are quite unlike those 
usually reproduced. He found time to follow 
Aqua Claudia from Rome into the Cam- 
pagna, and his sense of artistic composition 
told him what pictures to take. 

"There are such things as fountains in 
the world, small as well as great," said Cole- 
ridge, and Mr. Dailey appreciated that when 
he photographed the fountain pictured on 
the cover. It is not such a fountain as Vernon 
Lee accentuated, but it is Rome in essence, 
and Coleridge, who loved fountains small 
as well as great, might conceivably have 
preferred it to any of the great Bernini 

To Mr. Dailey's camera we owe also the 
pictures of the Moorish aqueduct near Alge- 
ciras. Even the most indefatigable tourist 
gives this aqueduct little attention, and few 
are they that think of photographing it. 
Hence, it will be studied as something new 
by very many of our readers. It is in striking 
contrast to the Roman aqueducts pictured 
herein, and may help students to understand 
how the Saracens, with their background of 
mathematics, brought something very im- 
portant into the European practicalities of 
architecture and engineering. 
* * * 

All Spring Valley Water Company joins 
with the editor in wishing readers of San 
Francisco Water a Happy New Year. 



Another picture of the mid-nineteenth-century period when the Madrid Water Conduit was under 

construction. This is the Siphon of Bodonal, an iron pipe installation. At the time it was being built 

Hermann Schussler, of Spring Valley Water Company, was studying the applicability of riveted steel 

pipe to the economic uses of a modern water supply. 

January, 1927 



Across the Bay from Gibraltar basks the pleasant little Spanish town of Algeciras, which waited until 
the early twentieth century to attain political significance. Yet it was founded by the Moors in 713. 
This is the Moorish aqueduct of nearby Los Barrios. Note how lightly they built, with reliance on 

flying buttresses. 



January, 1927 

[Continued from page 1] though the actual 
distance traversed is about twenty-five. Other 
devices, such as changing the level and then 
modifying the slope, and siphon arrange- 
ments of various kinds, were adopted (as in 
the aqueduct at Aspendus)." 

Though only one of Rome's ancient aque- 
ducts, Aqua Claudia, is pictured here, there 
were eleven in use during the height of im- 
perial greatness. These were: 

1. Aqua Appia, 11 miles long, all but 
300 feet below ground. It was constructed in 
312 B. C. by the censor Appius Claudius 
Caecus. Apparently it was Rome's first aque- 

2. Anio Vetus, 43 miles long, 1100 feet 
of its length above ground. Two miles from 
Rome it parted into two courses for the 
better supply of different sections of the city. 
It was built 272-269 B. C. by the censor 
Manius Curius Dentatus. 

3. Aqua Marcia, 61 miles long, of which 
54 miles were underground, the rest carried 
partly on substructions, partly on arches. It 
was the work of the praetor Quintus Mar- 
cius Rex, 144 to 140 B. C. Its waters were 
celebrated for their coolness and excellent 
quality. Augustus increased its volume, and 
it was repaired and restored by later emper- 
ors. In 1869-70 it was reconstructed by Pope 
Pius IX. 

4. Aqua Tepula, 1 1 miles long. Its under- 
ground course is untraceable, but for the last 
six miles it ran on the same arches that car- 
ried Aqua Marcia, though at a higher level. 
It was the work of the censors Cn. Servilius 
Caepio and L. Cassius Longinus, and was 
completed 125 B.C. 

5. Aqua Julia, 15 miles long, joined Aqua 
Tepula. The combined stream entered a 
reservoir outside the walls, then divided 
again into two channels. It was built in t,t, 
B. C. by M. Vipsanius Agrippa, who also be- 
gan in the same year — 

6. Aqua Virgo, 14 miles long, conveyed 
in a channel partly underground and partly 
above ground. Its water was celebrated for 
excellence. Pope Pius V restored it to use in 

7. Aqua Alsietina, or Augusta, 22 miles 
long, a small part on arches. No remains of 
it exist, and its course is untraceable. Augus- 
tus built it to furnish water for his "nauma- 
chia," a basin for sham sea-fights. 

8. Aqua Claudia, 45 miles long, the last 

7 miles on arches. It was built by Caligula 
and Claudius. 

9. Anio Novus, 62 miles long, was built 
by the same emperors. It united with Aqua 
Claudia seven miles out of Rome. 

10. Aqua Traiana, 36 miles long, was j 
constructed by Trajan in A.D. 109. It was 
restored by Pope Paul V in 161 1 . 

j 1. Aqua Alexandrina, 14 miles long, 
was built by Emperor Alexander Severus in | 
A.D. 226. Its springs now supply the modern 
Acqua Felice, constructed by Pope Sixtus V 
in 1585. A memorial arch erected on that I 
occasion is pictured on another page. 

The water-carrying channels of these | 
aqueducts varied a great deal in size at dif- j 
ferent points of the line. Anio Novus is the I 
largest, being from three to four feet wide 
and nine feet high to the top of its pointed 
roof. They are lined with hard cement con- [ 
taining fragments of brick. Concerning their ; 
capacity, Mr. George E. Tonney, of the 
engineering department of Spring Valley I 
Water Company, wrote as follows in San 
Francisco Water for October, 1925: 

"The discharge capacity of the total of i 
these aqueducts is extremely problematical. | 
Estimates and calculations made by differ- 
ent engineers vary from sixty million to 
four hundred million gallons per twenty- j 
four hours. Herschell, an American en- i 
gineer, makes the estimate of eighty-four 
million gallons — fifty-four used within the 
city and thirty without. He calculated that 
the Claudia and the Novus each could carry | 
16,800,000 gallons. The daily consumption 
in the city he put at twenty million gallons, 
or thirty-eight gallons per inhabitant." 

"All the aqueducts," writes Ashby, "ended 
in the city in huge castella, or reservoirs, for 
the purpose of distribution. Vitruvius recom- 
mends the division of these into three parts 
— one for the supply of fountains, etc., one 
for the public baths, and one for private 
consumers. . . . Besides these main castella 
there were also many minor castella in vari- 
ous parts of the city for sub-distribution. To 
allow the water to purify itself before being 
distributed in the city, filtering and settling 
tanks (piscinae limariae) were built outside 
the walls. These piscinae were covered in 
with a vaulted roof, and were sometimes on 
a very large scale, as in the example still 
preserved at Fermo, which consists of two 
stories, each having three oblong basins 

January. 1927 



communicating with each other; or the 
Piscina Mirabilis at Baiae, which is covered 
in by a vaulted roof, supported on forty- 
eight pillars, and perforated to permit the 
escape of foul air. Two stairs lead by forty 
steps to the bottom of the reservoir. In the 
middle of the basin is a sinking to collect 
the deposit of the water. The walls and pil- 
lars are coated with a stucco so hard as to 
resist a tool." 

Concerning the materials used in the 
Roman aqueducts, and certain engineering 
features, William Matthews is our authority. 
He writes : 

"The materials employed were different 
even in the same aqueduct; and in construct- 
ing an arch of the Aqua Marcia there were 
used three kinds of stone, one reddish, an- 
other brown, and a third of an earthy color. 
The Aqua Claudia was constructed with a 
beautiful hewn stone, whilst others were 
built with bricks and a strong cement, which 
so firmly united them as to render the work 
almost a solid mass. Morever, the Aqua 
Appia differed from the others, by its having 
a peculiar construction of width, as it ap- 
proached the point where the water was dis- 

"Although several of the Roman aque- 
ducts might have been constructed in a 
straight line, yet it is remarkable that their 
contrivers adopted a sinuous course with 
numerous windings. Various plausible 
reasons have been suggested for their prefer- 
ence of such a devious track; some presum- 
ing its chief object was to avoid the expense 
of erecting arcades of great height and 
solidity; whilst others have inferred that it 
solely had in view the preserving of a gentle 
and equable current for the water. The latter 
reason appears to be both plausible and co- 
gent; for if the velocity had been consider- 
able, the strong and impetuous motion of 
the water would have continually kept it in 
a turbid state, and consequently rendered it 
unsuitable for the beverage and other uses 
of the inhabitants. However, another import- 
ant circumstance demanded peculiar atten- 
tion and consideration; this was the preven- 
tion of injury to the aqueducts, from the con- 
stant attrition produced by the force and mo- 
tion of a very quick current upon the bot- 
| toms and sides of their channels, for the re- 
pairing of such dilapidations would inevit- 
ablv be attended with great inconvenience." 

The Roman aqueducts did not have to 
wait until modern times to command admi- 
ration. Men who saw them building were 
deeply impressed. Thus Pliny writes: 

"If any person shall very attentively con- 
sider the abundance of water conveyed to the 
public, for baths, fish-ponds, private houses, 
fountains, gardens, villas — conducted over 
arches of considerable extent — through 
mountains perforated for the purpose, and 
even valleys filled up, he will be disposed 
to acknowledge that nothing was ever more 
wonderful in the world." 

For Agrippa, who built Aqua Julia and 
Aqua Virgo, Pliny has a special admiration, 
stating that "in the course of one year he 
actually formed 70 pools, 105 fountains and 
130 reservoirs, besides adorning all these 
works with several hundreds of marble 
statues and columns." 

Modern scientists have been equally en- 
thusiastic. Thus, Professor Leslie writes in 
his Elements of X at ural Philosophy : "These 
works were executed in the boldest manner; 
nothing could resist the skill and enterprise 
of the Romans; they drained whole lakes, 
drove mines through mountains, and raised 
up the level of valleys by accumulated ar- 
cades. The water was kept cool by covering 
it with vaults, which were often so spacious 
that, according to Procopius, who wrote in 
the time of Belisarius, a man on horseback 
could ride through them. So abundant in- 
deed was the supply as to induce Strabo to 
say that whole rivers flowed through the 
streets of Rome/' 

The most important Roman aqueducts in 
Spain are pictured in this issue of San 
Francisco Water — those of Segovia, Tar- 
ragona, and Merida. 

From its mountain sources the water des- 
tined for Segovia is carried part of the way 
in an uncovered conduit, then underground 
to a reservoir on a height above the city. 
Beyond this is the aqueduct proper, 2400 
feet long, with 109 arches of fine masonry 
in two tiers, reaching the height of 102 feet. 
Of this Segovian aqueduct William Mat- 
thews wrote: 

"This fine structure is remarkable for its 
solidity and excellent masonry. Fortunately 
this admirable relic of antiquity has equally 
withstood the desolating violence of barbar- 
ians, and the powerful attacks of inclement 
seasons, through a long series of ages. The 



January, 1927 

design is strikingly light and beautiful; and 
its aspect has not only afforded gratification 
to architects, but puzzled antiquarians, who 
have entertained different opinions with re- 
gard to the epoch of its construction — some 
ascribing the merit of erecting it to Trajan, 
and others to Hercules, for it has no inscrip- 
tion to determine the period when it was 

Of very special interest to San Fran- 
ciscans are the pictures of the water supply 
of Madrid. Madrid, a city of about the same 
population as San Francisco, is like San 
Francisco in the fact that its water must 
come from a distance. The capital of Spain 
is situated on a steppe at an elevation of 
2130 feet above the sea. There is no import- 
ant river in the vicinity. 

At about the same time that Spring Valley 
Water Company began to develop a water 
supply for San Francisco in San Mateo 
County, Madrid went forty-three miles away 
to the Valley of the Lozoya to divert the 
waters of a stream of the same name. 

"The valley," it has been said, "with its 
somber granite hills, its thick and gloomy 
forests of coniferous trees, and its red-tiled 
villages, seems to belong rather to the north 
than to the south of Europe." The diversion 
is made at an elevation of 8040 feet above 
the sea, by means of a canal, the siphon of 
Bodonal, and by aqueduct. One of the reser- 
voirs on the line is pictured here as it ap- 
peared during construction. 

The water is carried to the highest section 
of Madrid, to the Depositos del Canal de 
Lozoya, where there are two reservoirs. The 
Old Reservoir was constructed in 1858, and 
is embellished with a fountain (pictured on 

another page) where the story of the water 
is told by means of allegorical figures. The 
New Reservoir, completed in 1883, is in the 
form of a huge vault, 225 yards long and 
150 yards wide, supported by 1040 granite 
pillars. It contains about forty million gal- 
lons of water. There is also a water tower, 
122 feet high, for the supply of the higher 
quarters of the city. 

Any water supply of today, entering the 
city from a distance, usually approaches in 
an unpretentious manner. It is so, for the most 
part, with Spring Valley Water Company, 
the notable exception being that part of the 
Alameda installation which threads the hill- 
side curves of Niles Canyon. There is a very 
real dignity in that particular Spring Valley 
line. The huge aqueduct of reinforced con- 
crete has a capacity of seventy million gal- 
lons, and at one place where it spans a ra- 
vine there is an archway of great beauty, art 
going hand in hand with engineering. 

Here one does not have to imagine — one 
actually sees — what Mrs. Meynell meant 
when she wrote of "the approach of perpet- 
ual waters." And here too the phrase "living 
waters" takes on a new meaning. In the 
Spring Valley system this Sunol Aqueduct 
is one of the most picturesque features, 
worthy to be mentioned in the same category 
as the Water Temple at Sunol, the master- 
piece of the late Willis Polk, than which 
there is not in all North America a more 
lovely architectural tribute to the nobility 
of "living waters." 

Some day, perhaps, a poet will pay tribute 
to this loveliness as old John Dyer did to the 
aqueducts of Rome : 

11 The radiant aqueducts 
Turn their innumerable arches o er 
The spacious desert, brightening in the sun, 
Proud and more proud in the august approach: 
High o'er irriguous vales, and woods, and towns, 
Glide the soft whispering waters in the wind, 
And here united pour their silver streams, 
Among the figured rocks, in murmuring falls, 
Musical ever." 

Spring Valley Water Company 


F. B. Anderson Benjamin Bangs W. B. Bourn 

S. P. Eastman Sidney M. Ehrman E. L. Eyre Robert G. Hooker 

Frank B. King E. J. McCutchen 

L. F. Monteagle Warren Olney, Jr. A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 

Chairman of the Board 










G. A. Elliott Treasurer 

John J. Sharon 
H. M. Kinsey 

O. E. Clemens 

F. P. Muhlner 

Benjamin Bangs 


Assistant Auditor 

Chief Engineer 
Assistant Chief Engineer 
Office Engineer 

Superintendent, City 

Assistant Superintendent 

Foreman, Service and Meter 

Foreman, City Distribution 

F. P. Muhlner 
D. W. Cooper 

G. A. Elliott 

T. W. Espy 

I. E. Flaa 

George W. Pracy 

O. G. Goldman 

Joseph Kappeler 

J. J. Miley 

Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis 
Superintendent Alameda System a. W. Ebright 
Hydrographer S. M. Millard 

Manager, Water Sales 

Assistant Manager 

Supervisor, Consumers' Accounts 

Supervisor, Collections 

Manacer, Docks and Shipping 

Superintendent Agricultural 

Assistant Superintendent 
Assistant to Superintendent 

Director of Publicity 

Manager Real Estate 

Purchasing Agent 

O. E. Clemens 

V. E. Perry 

W. D. Ryder 

A. W. Till 

H. Templeman 

F. W. Roeding 

C. H. Schween 

Frank Peters 

Edward F. O'Day 

Theodore J. Wilder 
J. H. Le Pla 

L " ^ " ^^ piTl L AUDIUS BROUGHT 
\frf$Z%^^ TO THE CITY THE 





ASPAR DE PORTOLA WdS bom in 1 72 3 

at Balaguer in Catalonia, Spain, and 
was of noble ran\. *§j He was com' 
missioned an ensign in 1734, a lieu- 
tenant of dragoons and grenadiers 
in 1743, and a captain in the Espana regiment of 
dragoons in 1764. *& According to the regimental 
records he "was present at the sieges of Demonte, 
Cuneo, T or tona, Valencia on the Po; the battles of 
Madona on the Olma, in which he was wounded, 
and of Placencia; the s\irmishes at the passage of 
the Panaro and of the Fidoni; and too\part in the 
campaign of Portugal."'' *#> Portola was Governor of 
the Calif ornias from 1767. In 1776 he was appointed 
Governor of the city of Puebla. His successor was 
appointed by a royal order of 1783; and in 1784 the 
Viceroy reported to the Minister of War in Spain 
that he had advanced to Colonel Portola twelve pay- 
ments of his salary to cover the expenses of his re- 
turn to Spain. The date of his death is 
yet to be ascertained. 


•an Francisco I^ter 


Spring Valley Water Company 


Volume VI 

April, 1927 


The "Porto/a Expedition in £an <^hVateo County 

Bv the Editor 

THE history of San Mateo County and 
of the Spring Valley watersheds therein 
started in 1769, while George III ruled 
Great Britain and the American Colonies, 
Louis XV was king of France, and Charles 
III king of Spain. In the matter of recorded 
history, therefore, our neighbor county on 
the peninsula of San Francisco may boast a 
respectable antiquity. 

San Francisco history began in the same 
year, and, paradoxical as it may seem, one of 
the great events in San Francisco history did 
not happen on San Francisco soil. It was 
from a hill in San Mateo County, a hill on 
the watershed of Spring Valley Water Com- 
pany, that members of the Portola expedition 
obtained their first glimpse of the future city 
of San Francisco. 

It is not necessary to give here, even in 
outline, the general story of the Portola ex- 
pedition. That great quest for the port of 
Monterey is now familiar to every Cali- 
fornian. But it is interesting to focus atten- 
tion upon the incidents of the expedition that 
occurred in San Mateo County. These inci- 
dents were most important in their bearing 
upon subsequent events — it has been said 
that they "reawakened Spain." 

The name of Don Gaspar is commemo- 
rated in Portola Valley, which was recently 
described by a great landscape engineer as 
"one of the three loveliest little valleys in the 
United States," and in Portola Woods, a 
residence subdivision developed by Spring 
Valley Water Company. And in other regions 
of San Mateo County the footsteps of the 
expedition are clearly marked. 

The fact that Don Gaspar and his band 

can be so closely followed in their exploration 
of San Mateo County is due to the care with 
which the accounts of the expedition have 
been studied and edited. There are several of 
these, including that of Costanso the engi- 
neer, and Crespi the Franciscan padre. This 
latter has just been made available in Eng- 
lish through the generosity of Mr. Sidney M. 
Ehrman, of San Francisco, who financed the 
translation, editing, and publication of 
Palou's Noticias. This great source-book of 
Calif ornian history had never been trans- 
lated before. The work was done by Professor 
Herbert E. Bolton, of the University of Cali- 
fornia. The entire Crespi diary was incorpo- 
rated by Palou in the Noticias, and Professor 
Bolton's notes enable us to move step by step 
through San Mateo County with Don Gaspar 
de Portola. 


The famous Portola expedition set out from 
the port of San Diego on July 14, 1769. It 
was composed of the Governor and Com- 
mander-in-Chief Don Gaspar de Portola, 
with one servant and twenty-seven leather- 
jacket soldiers; the lieutenant Don Pedro 
Fages, with seven of his volunteer soldiers 
of the Free Company of Catalonia; the engi- 
neer Don Miguel Constanzo; seven mule- 
teers, and fifteen Christian Indians from 
Lower California. Junipero Serra sent along 
two Franciscan missionaries, Father Juan 
Crespi and Father Francisco Gomez. Serra 
charged Father Crespi to keep a diary of 
the journey, "which he did faithfully," says 
the historian Palou. It is because of the 
fidelitv and accuracv with which Father 


April, 192 

Crespi kept his diary that we are able to 
trace so closely the route of Portola. 

On October 24, 1769, Father Crespi re- 
cords that "in two leagues we crossed two 
valleys with very good land and an abun- 
dance of running water." One of these valleys 
had a "fair-sized lagoon." Professor Bolton 
identifies this as the lake at Arroyo de los 
Frijoles, halfway between Bolsas Point and 
Pescadero Point. "This is a fine place," said 
Crespi, "with good lands and an abundance 
of water, where a good mission could be 
placed." But no mission was ever placed 

The expedition camped that night at 
San Gregorio Creek, near the coast. Father 
Crespi was very much impressed with this 
place. He described it: "It is a small valley 
with a good village of heathen, who received 
us with much friendliness. They are fair, well 
formed, and some of them are bearded. They 
have their village near the beach, about half 
a league from the camping-place; but they 
also have their little houses in this valley, 
and at present are living in them. The valley 
has a great deal of land, much of it good; in 
the middle of it there is an arroyo with 
plenty of running water which goes to the 
beach, on whose edge, lower down, these 
heathen have their village. The only short- 
coming that I noticed was the scarcity of 
wood, but the mountains are near, and there 
is plenty of brush from the redwoods." 

The Indians of San Gregorio appear to 
have had town houses and country villas! 
Aside from that, the interesting point here is 
the mention of redwoods. It was only a short 
time before that the expedition had made its 
first acquaintance with these noble trees. It is 
worth while to go back and pick up the 

On October 10, 1769, while advancing 
from the Pajaro River near Watsonville to 
Soquel Creek, the expedition came upon 
"some very high trees of a red color, not 
known to us. They have a very different leaf 
from cedars, and although the wood re- 
sembles cedar somewhat in color, it is very 
different and has not the same odor; more- 
over the wood of the trees that we have found 
is very brittle. In this region there is a great 
abundance of these trees and because none 
of the expedition recognizes them, they are 
named redwood from their color." 

On October 25, the expedition halted to 

rest the pack animals, and scouts were sent 
out, doubtless under command of that really 
great scout, Ortega, to reconnoiter. Provisions 
were running short. The meat for the soldiers 
was all gone, and they were reduced to five 
tortillas a day, one for breakfast, two for 
dinner, and two for supper. "A very small 
ration for so much work," writes Father 
Crespi; "but there is nothing else to give 
them, and the poor fellows content them- 

Next morning, October 26, Captain Don 
Fernando de Rivera arose ill with the prev- 
alent scurvy, and with diarrhea as . well. 
But next day, October 27, the captain and 
the rest of the sick were better, so the march 
'was resumed "north over high hills, all 
burned." After three hours travel they halted 
near the beach at Purisima Creek. There 
were some deserted dwellings here; the In- 
dians had moved to the mountains. Why? 
The soldiers soon found out. Says Crespi: 
"All the inquisitive persons who wished to 
see the habitations which had been aban- 
doned by the heathen, some few grass huts, 
were covered with fleas, for which reason the 
soldiers named it Village of Las Pulgas." 

On October 28, 1769, the expedition ad- 
vanced near the beach over "low mesas of 
good land, although all the grass had been 
burned." Traveling about two leagues in 
two hours and a half, they came to a large 
arroyo near the beach, which carried a good 
volume of running water. This may have 
been Frenchman Creek, but was more prob- 
ably, thinks Professor Bolton, Pilarcitos 
Creek. Father Crespi gives us this descrip- 

"During the entire march the country has 
been bare of trees, and only behind a moun- 
tain range where we saw a higher one are 
there to be seen some groves, which they say 
are pines. From the camp a very long point 
of land which runs out into the sea is visible; 
at the end of it there is a great deal of low 
land, with many large rocks, which at the 
distance appear to be farallones, and which 
stretch to the west. The four heathen from 
the village of our father Saint Dominic (at 
San Gregorio Creek), who are following us 
and serving as guides, tell us that near that 
point there is a good village of heathen. 
These four wished us to camp there, and I 
wished it as much as they did, in order to see 
the place, and the poor unfortunates who live 

April, 1927 


Pulgas Tunr 

irough \vh 

Spring Valley water from across the Bay pours into Crystal Springs, takes its name 
from a dismaying incident of the Portola Expedition 

in it; but we could not do so as it was late 
and the men were very tired. I named this 
arroyo The Holy Apostles St. Simon and St. 
Judas. In this place there are many geese, 
and for this reason the soldiers named it the 
plain of Los Ansares." 

The point of land is Pillar Point at the 
head of Half Moon Bay. 

It is interesting to note that the pious 
padre christened places with pious names, 
while the soldiers frequently gave the same 
places homelier names of their own liking. 
In a good many cases the soldier-name sur- 
vived. Pajaro, for instance, is a soldier- 
name, and so is Pulgas. Both the pious name 
of the arroyo just mentioned and its soldier- 
name of The Geese have disappeared. 


There was abundant cause for uneasiness 
while the Portola expedition camped on 
Pilarcitos Creek within view of Pillar Point. 
They did not know where they were, food 
was short, and sickness was prevalent. 
Writes Father Crespi: 

"From the camp the above-named point 
(Pillar Point) lies to the north-northwest, 
and the high rocks look like two thick faral- 

lones of an irregular and pointed shape. On 
seeing these indications we did not know 
what to think. We believed that we were now 
in latitude thirty-seven degrees and a half, 
without being able to say whether we were 
distant from or near the port of Monterey. 
Every little while it rained on us, and the 
men were downcast and reduced to only five 
tortillas a day, made of flour mixed with 
bran. No grain remained, and only a little 
meat, which was reserved for the sick. They 
talked of killing mules for the healthy ones 
to eat, but the soldiers refused to accept this 
relief until the last extremity. 

"The Commander (Portola), as a conso- 
lation for their misfortune, fell ill ; the Cap- 
tain (Rivera) continued to suffer from his 
sickness; and many were afflicted with a 
diarrhea which prostrated them. However, it 
appears that this trouble was remedial, for 
with it they felt relieved of the greater ill 
from which many were suffering, the scurvy, 
which had made even greater ravages on 
those who had come on the ships, and they 
were relieved without any other medicine 
than the new disorder of the diarrhea. They 
were undoubtedly improving, for by this 
means nature was discharging the humors 


April, 1927 

which had caused the epidemics. The change 
of weather contributed to it, also the cessa- 
tion of the northwest winds, the benefit of the 
rains, and the beginning of land breezes, 
which no doubt purified the air that was so 
noxious to us, for they immediately per- 
ceived that the swelling in their legs went 
down. The acute pains which they had pre- 
viously felt in all their limbs, and which had 
kept them constantly groaning, ceased, and 
the swelling of the gums diminished, so that 
they took some consolation and hope of soon 
recovering entirely." 

By Monday, October 30, the sick felt bet- 
ter, and the expedition moved on. They 
marched northwest along the beach. Father 
Crespi noted "a good little bay, with pas- 
ture, good water and land, which would be 
suitable for a town if there were any fire- 
wood; but it lacks this advantage, for not 
even a twig could be found. We stopped," 
he writes, "not far from the shore at the foot 
of some hills which prevent us from passing 
along the beach. They form a valley shel- 
tered from the north, from which flows an 
arroyo with plenty of good water. The camp 
was pitched on its bank, after a march of 
two leagues, which we made in three hours 
and a half." This day's camp was on San 
Vicente Creek. 

And now the leaders of the expedition be- 
gan to realize where they were; it was at 
last brought home to them that they had 
passed Monterey Bay, the objective of the 
long, weary, hazardous march from San 

On October 31, they left San Vicente 
Creek and ascended the high hills which pre- 
vented passage by the beach. 


What follows in Crespi's diary is the nar- 
rative of one of the great incidents in Cali- 
fornia history, for the leaders of the expedi- 
tion, gazing from the Montara Mountains, 
beheld what was known then as the Bay of 
San Francisco, not our San Francisco Bay, 
but what came to be called afterwards the 
Gulf of the Farallones, extending from San 
Pedro Point in San Mateo County to Drake's 
Bay and Point Reyes in Marin County. Here 
is Crespi's account: 

"As soon as we ascended to the summit we 
descried a great bay formed by a point of 
land which runs far out into the open sea 

and looks like an island. [This is San Pedro 
Point. Crespi called it Angel Custodio, or 
Guardian Angel, but the soldiers found in 
the neighborhood mussels which were large, 
succulent, and plentiful, so they called it 
Punta de las Almejas.] Farther out, west- 
northwest from where we stood and a little 
to the southwest of the point, six or seven 
white farallones of different sizes were to be 
seen. Following the coast of the bay to the 
north some white cliffs are visible, and to the 
northwest is the mouth of an estuary which 
seems to penetrate into the land. 

"In view of these signs, and of what is 
stated in the itinerary of the pilot Cabrera 
Bueno, we came to the recognition of this 
port; it is that of Our Father San Francisco, 
and we have left that of Monterey behind." 

Joseph Gonzales Cabrera Bueno was the 
author of a work on navigation entitled 
Navegacion Especulativa y Practica, pub- 
lished in Manila, 1734. This work, accord- 
ing to the historian of Spanish California, 
Charles E. Chapman, gives a fairly accurate 
description of the California Coast. It is 
more than likely that Father Crespi carried 
a copy. He goes on : 

"Filled with these doubts and arguments, 
we descended from the hill and pitched camp 
in the middle of a small valley, some six 
hundred varas long and about a hundred 
wide, which has plenty of water in two small 
arroyos which unite to enter the sea. The val- 
ley has a great deal of reed-grass and many 
blackberries and roses; there are a few trees 
in the beds of the arroyos, and some mod- 
erate-sized willows, but on the hills there 
was not a single tree to be seen except some 
on a mountain range which encircles this 

"Not far from the camp we found a vil- 
lage of very friendly heathen, who, as soon 
as we arrived, came to visit us with their 
present of tamales made of black seeds. 
Judging by the fires that we have seen on the 
beach, it must be well populated with vil- 

"From this beach the farallones lie west 
by southwest, and the point which I believe 
to be Point Reyes, and is the one that forms 
and encloses the bay at the northern end, 
lies west by northwest. All the signs that we 
find here we read in the itinerary of the 
pilot Cabrera Bueno, from which we con- 
clude that this is the port of San Francisco, 

April, 1927 



'i$% : 

Professor Bolton opines that Portola camped one night on Pilarcitos Creek. Here is 

Spring Valley watershed 

Pilarcitos nook of loveliness on 

and we are confirmed in this by the latitude 
in which we find ourselves, which is a full 
thirty-seven and a half degrees ; for although 
that author places it in thirty-eight and a 
half, that does not disturb me, considering 
that we have observed that this happens in 
all his reckonings whenever he describes this 
:oast and its latitude. For example, he puts 
'he harbor of San Diego in thirty-four de- 
crees, while in the observation repeatedly 
made there it came out a little more than 
thirty-two degrees and a half. Point Con- 
:epcion we found in thirty-four and one-half 
degrees, while he puts it in thirty-five and a 
aalf. And so it would not be surprising if 
:his harbor, which is in full thirty-seven and 
a half degrees, should turn out to be that of 
Dur father San Francisco, since we find all 
:he other signs that the author gives for the 
3ort referred to." 

Whether Crespi calls it the port, the har- 
>or or the bay of San Francisco, it must be 
aeld in mind that he is speaking of the Gulf 
)f the Farallones. 

"Some of our party," he continues, "do not 
/et believe that we have left the port of 
Monterey behind or that we are on that of 

my father San Francisco. In order to clear it 
up entirely the Commander ordered that 
during the day Sergeant Ortega should go 
out with a party of soldiers to explore, and 
that we should wait until their return." 

The camp where this momentous decision 
was made, we know from Professor Bolton, 
was on San Pedro Creek, near San Pedro 


There on November 1, 1769, Father Crespi 
and Father Gomez said Mass, and Ortega 
started out, to be gone not more than three 
days. Next day some of the soldiers asked 
permission to hunt, for they had seen many 

"Some of them went quite a distance from 
the camp and climbed the hills, so that it was 
already night when they returned. They said 
that toward the north they had seen an im- 
mense arm of the sea, or an estuary, which 
penetrated into the land as far as the eye 
could reach, extending to the southeast; that 
they had seen some beautiful plains well 
adorned with trees, and that the smokes 
which thev saw in all directions left no doubt 


April, 1927 

that the country was thickly populated with 
heathen villages. 

"This report confirmed us still more in 
the opinion that we were on the port of Our 
Father San Francisco, and that the arm of 
the sea which they told us about was cer- 
tainly the estuary of which the pilot Cabrera 
Bueno spoke, the mouth of which we had not 
seen because we went down to the harbor 
through a ravine. That pilot, speaking of it, 
uses these words: 'Through the opening in 
the center enters an estuary of salt water 
without any breaking of the waves at all, 
and by going in one will find friendly In- 
dians and can easily take on water and 

"We conjectured also from these reports 
that the explorers [Ortega's scouts] could 
not have crossed to the opposite shore which 
was seen to the north, and consequently, 
would not succeed in exploring the point 
which we judge to be that of Los Reyes, for 
it would be impossible in the three days that 
they were to be gone to make the detour that 
they would unavoidably have to make to 
round the estuary, whose extent the hunters 
represented as being very great." 

Those Spanish leather- jackets, the first 
white men to hunt deer in San Mateo County, 
share with Sergeant Ortega the renown of 
discovering our San Francisco Bay, Crespi's 
estuary. But they had no conception of the 
importance of what they had seen. 

At night of November 3 the Ortega scout- 
ing party came back, "firing loud salutes, 
thus letting us know in advance that they 
were bringing some good news." What was 
this good news ? 

"They told us what they had learned or 
inferred from the uncertain signs made bv 
the heathen; that is, that two days' march 
from the place which they had reached, 
which was the end or head of the estuary, 
there was a harbor and a ship in it. As a 
result of this many now believed that we 
were at Monterey, and that the packet San 
Jose or the San Carlos was awaiting us. 
And certainly our necessities made us wish, 
even if we did not believe, that we were in 
Monterey instead of San Francisco. In con- 
sequence of these reports the Commander de- 
cided to continue the journey in search of the 
port and ship of which the heathen had 
given information to our explorers." 

Alas! the scouts had misunderstood the 

Indians. There was no ship in the estuary or 
harbor. Nine years were to elapse before 
Ayala brought the San Carlos through the 
Golden Gate, the first ship to enter San 
Francisco Bay. 

On November 4, however, the expedition 
left San Pedro Creek and set forward, fol- 
lowing the beach to the north. This was a 
memorable march. "We then," writes our 
diarist, "entered the mountains, directing our 
course to the northeast, and from the summit 
of a peak we beheld the great estuary or arm 
of the sea, which must have a width of four 
or five leagues, and extends to the southeast 
and south-southeast." 

And so it was that from Sweeney Ridge on 
the watershed of Spring Valley Water Com- 
pany's San Andres Reservoir, the main body 
of the Portola expedition first gazed upon the 
waters of San Francisco Bay. What were the 
emotions of Don Gaspar de Portola ? Was he 
filled with the successful explorer's exulta- 
tion? Or was there that "wild surmise" that 
Keats attributes to the discoverer of the Pa- 
cific Ocean, "silent upon a peak in Darien"? 
The unromantic truth is that Don Gaspar de 
Portola was lost, that he wanted to find no 
bay but Monterey, and was pretty sure by now 
that this was not it. And so the expedition 
pushed on. 

"After three hours' travel in which we 
made two leagues, we halted in a valley at 
the foot of a mountain range covered with 
low, very green woods, and having near the 
camp a grove of live oaks on the west slope of 
the mountains." 

This camp was on the west slope of 
Sweeney Ridge, just west of Lake San An- 
dres. The next day, November 5, was Sun- 
day, so Mass preceded the order to march. 
Note now that they turn south again. That 
camp west of Lake San Andres was as far as 
the Portola expedition of 1769 penetrated. 

Says Father Crespi : "We traveled in a 
southerly direction along the edge of the 
estuary, but without seeing it, as we were pre- 
vented by the hills of the valley which we 
were following [San Andres Valley]. On the 
right we had delightful mountains, with 
many groves of live oaks and redwoods. We 
traveled four hours and a half, in which we 
must have made three and a half leagues, 
and halted near a lake formed bv an arrovo 

April, 1927 


second largest of Spring Valley's San Mateo County reserve 
men passed this way 

i-alley, not a lake, when Portola's 

of good water, with unlimited pasture and 
numberless geese in the same valley, in which 

1 there have been seen many tracks of large 
animals, which they say are bears or buffalo. 
Many deer have been seen in herds, and the 
explorers declare they saw a band of fifty of 
them in this place." 

This, in the opinion of Professor Bolton, 
was near the southern end of Crystal Springs 
Lake, which in 1769, it must be remembered, 
was a small lake, nothing like the great 
artificially developed reservoir-lake of today. 
From Father Crespi's statement it is evident 
that Sergeant Ortega had been over this 
ground in the scouting operations a few days 

j before. 

What of the Indians of this particular 

! spot? Father Crespi gives a good account of 
them: "Shortly before we left, three very 
gentle heathen came to visit us; they came 
as envoys from their respective villages to 
invite us to camp with them, and they 
brought us their present of black tamales and 
a little fruit like a plum. Their gifts were 

i returned with some beads, and they went on 
with us." 

There is a note of special admiration in 

the words Father Crespi applies to this re- 
gion. And there can be no doubt that he was 
pleased with the hospitable and kindly In- 
dians. On November 6 he records: 

"At nine in the morning we set out from 
the camp, following the same valley. We 
traveled through it for another three and a 
half leagues, through very charming country, 
more thickly grown with redwoods, live oaks, 
and oaks loaded with acorns. Two numerous 
villages of heathen came to meet us with 
demonstrations of great pleasure, bringing 
us a good present of pinole, black tamales, 
and porridge made of acorns, which relieved 
in part the hunger of the men, who were re- 
duced, as I have already said, to five tortillas 
a day. The heathen invited us to go and 
camp in their villages, saying they would 
feed us. The commander excused himself, 
saying we had to go on. They were very sorry 
at this, and, although they were given some 
beads, they still showed sadness and regret 
because we did not accept the invitation." 

"We followed the valley," Father Crespi 
continues, "till we came to the end of it. 
Here terminate the hills which we have had 
on our left hand between us and the estuarv. 


April, 192 

At the same time the mountains on the right 
hand, which with the hills form the valley by 
which we came, and which was called 
Nuestro Padre San Francisco, suddenly turn 
to the east, and enclose the estuary in a 
spacious valley. We traveled a little farther 
in the same direction, and in a short time 
halted on the bank of an arroyo whose waters 
descend from the mountains and run pre- 
cipitously to this estuary." 

This, says Professor Bolton, was San 
Francisquito Creek, near Palo Alto. But he 
points out that they turned east (from Sears- 
ville Lake) before making camp, and halted 
near the bay. 

Next day, November 7, the scouts were 
sent out to find, if possible, more definite 
information about "the port and the ship." 
Meanwhile the expedition rested, and, being 
on short rations, the men ate acorns — result, 
indigestion and fever. 

On the night of November 10 the scouts 
returned to report that they had mistaken the 

Indians in the matter of a port and a ship. 

Furthermore "they said that all the terri- 
tory which they examined to the northeast 
and north was impassable because of the 
scarcity of pasture and especially because of 
the ferocity and ill-temper of the heathen, 
who received them angrily and tried to stop 
their passage." The result was a solemn 
council of war. Portola wanted to go for- 
ward, but all his officers voted in writing to 
turn back — they were convinced that the port 
of Monterey was not ahead of them. 

Their stops in San Mateo County on the 
return march to Monterey are thus identified 
from Crespi's brief notes by Professor Bol- 
ton: "The expedition camped on the nth 
near Woodside; on the 12th at San Andres 
Lake, or possibly at Pilarcitos Lake; on the 
13th on San Pedro Creek; on the 14th at 
San Vicente Creek; on the 15th at Half 
Moon Bay; on the 17th at Tunitas Creek; 
on the 1 8th at Pescadero Creek; on the 19th 
at Ano Nuevo Creek." 

o)an zJtitateo Gounty in iy6g 

By George Davidson, Ph.D., Sc.D. 

[The author of the Pacific Coast Pilot knew his 
California as few men before or since have known 
it. The following analysis o'f the route of Portola 
in San Mateo County was written by Professor 
Davidson for the Geographical Society of the Pa- 
cific, of which he was president.] 

AFTER much earnest conference, and con- 
l\. sultation of the Coast Pilot of Cabrera 
Bueno, Portola determined to examine the 
coast line to the northward, notwithstanding 
the provisions had run low, and that every- 
one of the party was ill. 

It was the decision of a masterful leader, 
and led to remarkable results ; it reawakened 
Spain . . . 

Following the expedition northward we 
recognize the following stopping places : 

La Canada de la Salud is the Ano Nuevo 
Creek of the present maps; it is locally 
known as Big Gulch. . . . From this place 
they moved ... to another camp named La 
Rancheria de la Casa Grande . . . They 
crossed the present Whitehouse and Gazos 

Creeks, and encamped a short distance east 
of Pigeon Point, where there is a roadstead 
open to the south. Here they found a 
rancheria with a large, notable spherical 
structure which they named the Casa 
Grande, but of which we find no record or 
tradition . . . 

On Tuesday, October 24th, the party 
started under the guidance of two Indians 
from Casa Grande, and traveled four leagues 
to a camp at a rancheria not named by Cos- 
tanso, but which we fix at the San Gregorio 
Creek . . . 

On Friday, the 27th, they traveled two 
short leagues in three hours, and encamped 
at a stream with little water and no firewood. 
We place their stopping place at the Puris- 
sima Creek, on the south bank. . . . 

On Saturday, October 28th, Costanso 
writes they traveled two leagues northward 
from the Rancheria de las Pulgas to El 
Llano de los Ansares (the plain of the wild 

April, 1927 


Ortega, the great scout, explored this region of Crystal Springs Dam, anc 
near the southern end of the reservoi 

geese), and Father Crespi and Father Gomez 
said mass, and then the train started at ten 
o'clock and made two leagues in two and a 
half hours. They encamped close to the 
mouth of the Pilarcitos Creek, one and one- 
third leagues north from the Purissima. 
From this encampment Costanso writes: "To 
the northwest we saw a great point of land 
that reaches far into the sea, and at the 
extremity much low land with many great 
rocks which appear as farallones that run to 
the westward." Later he describes "two faral- 
lones of very irregular figure with peaked 

The point of land lying to the northwest 
and forming the roadstead of Half Moon 
Bay, open to the south, is the Pillar Point 
of our charts; it is an extensive mesa that 
rises to 181 feet at the middle, and was called 
the Corral de Tierra by the early Califor- 
nians. One of the two principal farallones 
lying one-fifth of a mile from the point is 
about one hundred feet high, very sharp 
peaked and split from top to bottom. It is 
named the Steeple, Sail or Pillar Rock on 
different charts and maps. It is a well-known 
landmark to our navigators. 

Under the date of the 30th, Father Crespi 

describes the anchorage of Half Moon Bay 
as a good small bay . . . 

On Monday, the 30th, the expedition left 
the camp on the Pilarcitos, and reached the 
creek one mile north of the Montara Fog 
Signal, where their progress was effectually 
blocked by the southwestern flank of Mon- 
tara Mountain reaching the shore ... At 
the foot of the rocky barrier which con- 
fronted them ran a small stream from the 
mountains. This stream is now known as 
Martini's Creek. The barrier formed a "rin- 
conada" and shelter from the north winds. 
... In the afternoon the sergeant was sent 
out to find a passage over the promontory of 
the Montara Mountains. 

The geographic position of this camp of 
the 30th has always been in some doubt, but 
with the different narratives before us, a per- 
sonal acquaintance of the locality, and the 
contoured maps of the United States Coast 
and Geodetic Survey, we have satisfactorily 
solved the difficulty. It was one mile and a 
quarter northward of the present Montara 
Steam Fog Signal Station, and two miles 
southward of the northern extremity of Point 
San Pedro. 

On Tuesday, the 31st of October, after the 



April, 1927 

sergeant and soldiers had cut a trail across 
the high, steep ridge to the north, the expedi- 
tion crossed this difficulty, and made one 
league only that day. This well-known head- 
land is the rocky, abrupt, ocean termination 
of the mountain ridge that stretches hence 
southeastward through the Peninsula of San 
Francisco, and in fifty statute miles attains 
an elevation of 3,798 feet at Loma Prieta, in 
latitude 37° 07'. Where the later Indian trail 
crossed it the height is over one thousand 
feet, but this party may have crossed it some- 
what lower. When the party reached the top 
they descried what they denominated "una 
Bahia Grande" which stretched far out to 
sea under a distant point of land or an 
island. That point was the three-miles 
broad, precipitous face of the headland of 
La Punta de los Reyes, distant forty geo- 
graphic miles and reaching 597 feet eleva- 
tion. Farther to the west northwest were seen 
six or seven white Farallones ; and then turn- 
ing to the eastward of Point Reyes were 
seen "barrancas blancas," white cliffs, that 
appeared at the mouth of an estero. When 
the haze which partly obscured the Head 
and vicinity had cleared away Costanso was 
able to establish the fact that Point Reyes 
Head was not an island, as had been con- 
jectured by some of the party. 

The party then made the sharp, rugged 
descent to the laguna that receives the waters 
of the small stream called on the late charts 
San Pedro Creek. This lagoon is behind San 
Pedro Cove, which is formed by the recession 
of the low shore on the north side of Point 
San Pedro. Camp was fixed on the side of 
the lagoon, . . . 

At any place near ■ the sea level in San 
Pedro Cove the observers could not have seen 
the objects mentioned because they were be- 
low their horizon; and therefore they must 
have ascended at least two or three hundred 
feet, whence the tops of the Southeast Faral- 
lon, the highest part of Point Reyes, and the 
upper part of Ballenas cliffs could be seen 
above the horizon. 

Upon consulting the Coast Pilot of Don 
Joseph Gonzales Cabrera Bueno of 1734, 
they decided they were looking at the old 
Puerto de San Francisco of the Spanish 
galleons, the Portus Novae Albionis ascribed 
to Drake . . . 

We have fixed his "barrancas blancas" as 
the southern face of the whitish cliffs of 

Ballenas (or Bolinas) Point that forms the 
western shore of Ballenas Bay. Costanso was 
twenty nautical miles from the cliffs that are 
175 feet high, and could not see the inside 
lagoon; but he was looking almost directly 
through the deep, narrow valley that runs 
straight from Ballenas Bay to Tomales Bay 
for fourteen miles, with the mountains over 
one thousand feet high on either side. The 
Cuchilla Grande on the west is 1,409 feet, 
and the flankers of Tamalpais over 2,000 
feet. Therefore he imagined that he saw the 
mouth of an estero that appeared to run in- 
land on the east side of the white cliffs . . . 

The transverse break of the Golden Gate 
can not be seen even when one knows where 
to look for it. 

November 1st, 1769. On this day the ser- 
geant and the soldiers saw the southeast part 
of the present San Francisco Bay, but they 
could not get back to report. 

November 2nd. This was All Saints Day. 
... At night the hunters returned, and re- 
ported they had seen at the northern part of 
this Puerto de San Francisco an immense 
arm of the sea or estero, which ran as far 
inland as they could see, and looking toward 
the southeast . . . These men could not have 
seen the Golden Gate; the high lands south- 
ward of the entrance absolutely prevented its 
being seen from their position. 

If they were on the high hills two miles 
east or east-northeast of the camp they were 
looking upon the waters of San Francisco 
Bay. They could have noted Point Reyes 
Head as well as the estero at Ballenas; and 
the Twin Peaks projected upon Point Diablo 
and the high lands adjacent on the north side 
of the Golden Gate. 

Mount San Bruno, 1,315 feet high, lay 
squarely in front of them six miles to the 
northeastward, and prevented their seeing 
much of the bay north and west of Oakland 

November 3rd. During the night the ex- 
ploring party under Sergeant Ortega, which 
had started on the first, returned discharging 
their firearms, and confirmed the report of 
the hunters. They stated furthermore, "from 
equivocal signs of the Indians," that at a 
distance of two days' journey from San 
Pedro Cove there was "a port and a ship 

These Indians, who had perhaps seen gal- 
leons make the coast, [Continued on page 11] 

April, 1927 




San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 
Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. VI. 

April, 1927 


ON the cover of this issue of San Fran- 
cisco Water there is reproduced through 
Ithe courtesy of The Family, and of Mr. Haig 
Patigian, who painted it for that club, an oil 
painting entitled "The Vision of Portola." 
This painting commemorates the perform- 
ance of a little play of the same title, written 
by California's great poet, George Sterling, 
and given for the members of The Family at 
their Farm in the Portola Valley of San 
Mateo County in the summer of 191 1. By 
permission of The Family the Sterling play 
is here published for the first time. 

George Sterling was deeply impressed by 
the historical importance of the first Portola 
expedition and by the character of its com- 
mander. He dealt with the theme more than 
once, although his poems on the subject were 
not'included in any of his published volumes. 

£an <J&ateo Qounty in I?6<p 

[Continued from page 10] or had heard tradi- 
tions of Drake's ship, 1579, or of the wreck 
of the San Augustin, 1595, or of Vizcaino's 
visit in Drakes Bay in 1603, doubtless in- 
tended to inform the Spaniards that two 
days' travel to the northward from their 
camp was the entrance for boats and ships, 
such as they had seen, into this newly dis- 
covered estero. 

It is also evident that the explorers had not 
followed the beach to Point Lobos; in fact 
they could not for at least two miles, and 
thence they could have followed it for two 
more, when they would be compelled to reach 
into the hills that are nearly five hundred 
feet high, and whence they could see part 
of San Francisco Bay five or six miles to the 
eastward. One curious feature is not men- 
tioned, whether thev advanced far enough 

along the beach to see Lake Merced, only 
eight miles northward of the camp. 

As neither the exploring nor the hunting 
party had a glimpse of the Golden Gate, but 
were two days' travel therefrom; and as to 
Costanso and to the Commander Portola, 
and to all the party, the outer coast line 
seemed high, compact, and unbroken to the 
northward beyond their encampment, it was 
decided to cross the hills directly overlooking 
the bay and explore around the south and 
southeastern shore of this immense inland 

Today this decision appears to man}- peo- 
ple to have been unfortunate when one or at 
most two days of easy travel — only thirteen 
miles northward — would have brought them 
to the Golden Gate, and have given them a 
more wonderful discovery to call forth ex- 
uberant description; but they were guided by 
what they actually saw. 

They had twice before been barred by 
mountain ranges and forced into the interior, 
by the Sierra Santa Monica, and by the 
Sierra Santa Lucia. Now, in the clear atmos- 
phere of November, stood up the Twin 
Peaks, 925 feet, and the bold transverse crest 
of Mt. Tamalpais (2,594 feet high), stretch- 
ing its western flank as a great barrier to 
the very ocean near Ballenas Bay, and the 
Cuchilla Grande (1,409 feet) to the west of 

We must believe they exercised their best 
judgment and that the palpable estero before 
their eyes was far more satisfactory than the 
questionable signs of the Indians. 

One thing is certain, they had looked upon 
part of the future city of San Francisco. 

November 4th. . . . Almost at the out- 
start the train was compelled to leave the 
beach, and in a very short distance com- 
menced the ascent of the hills lying to the 
northeastward, which reach an elevation of 
thirteen hundred feet and are grass covered. 
As usually followed in this country, the 
traveler takes up a ridge whence he can have 
a good outlook as well as better traveling. 
Upon reaching the crest-line of the hills that 
trend southeast and northwest, the}- de- 
scended and entered the Canada of San An- 
dres, the head of which is five hundred and 
twenty feet above the sea. Then they traveled 
south-southeast through this narrow Canada 
between high hills that were wooded for 
about one mile, and halted at sunset. Cos- 



April, 1927 

tanso says they made two leagues; and this 
would bring them to the small unnamed 
lagoon shown on the United States Coast and 
Geodetic Survey map of the Peninsula of 
San Francisco (1869), exactly two miles 
west by south from Millbrae Station on the 
bay shore. The position of this lagunita is 
near the eastern angle of the San Pedro Ran- 
cho as laid down on Professor J. D. Whit- 
ney's map, where he has a house located but 
no water other than the stream. 

Neither Costanso nor Father Crespi men- 
tions any fresh water. The Father says they 
encamped at the foot of the mountain cov- 
ered with low wood, very green; and there 
was a semicircle of oaks skirting the moun- 
tain on the west. Naturally they would select 
a camp where water was to be had; and so 
we find that on the return trip the party 
encamped at this place beside "una La- 
gunilla" (November 12th). 

The camping ground is now covered by 
the waters of the reservoir of San Andres 

November 5th. The expedition was now 
in the "Canada de Raymundo" of the later 
maps, Costanso's "Canada de San Fran- 
cisco," and it may be well to give a brief 
description of it. It lies on the eastern flank 
of the main range of mountains running 
northwest and southeast through the Penin- 
sula of San Francisco. The northwest projec- 
tion reaches the sea five and a third miles 
north of Point San Pedro; and the southeast 
projection at Los Trancos Creek, west-south- 
west from May field, a total length of twenty- 
four miles. 

It is a very narrow valley, recognized as a 
line of faulting by geologists, and is fifteen 
miles long between the northwest and south- 
east divides. In the part traversed by the 
Portola party the breadth is less than a quar- 
ter of a mile wide, and the hills on the west 
rise sharply to eleven hundred feet above 
the sea, and on the east side they rise to six 
or seven hundred feet, with slopes not so 
steep. The lowest point in the cafiada is 
where the San Mateo Creek breaks through 
the eastern ridge on its way to the bay; and 
is about one hundred and eighty feet above 
the waters of the bay. In the later "fifties" 
we found little more than a trail through the 
chaparral and willows of this Canada; and 
traveling was slow. We entered from the 
north. In later years a road was made 

through the San Mateo Canon. Today all the 
old landmarks are obliterated by the two 
reservoirs, San Andres Lake north and Crys- 
tal Springs south, which have a total length 
of eight and a half miles. 

On Sunday, the 5th, after the celebration 
of the mass, the party began the march at 
nine o'clock with very cloudy weather. Cos- 
tanso's notes are very brief. Father Crespi's 
moderately full. They marched three and a 
half leagues in four and a half hours in a 
general direction to the south-southeast, par- 
allel with the bay shore which they could not 
see on account of the "lomaria" to the east. 
On their right hand the sierra was beautiful 
with many areas of oaks, redwood, and 
smaller trees, interspersed with areas of pas- 
ture. They stopped at a small stream and 
lagoon which formed an arroyo of good water 
and broad pasture land. There were plenty 
of wild geese, and they observed the tracks of 
large wild animals, as the bear and bulls 
(elk). Many herds of deer were seen, some 
of the explorers declaring they had counted 
fifty manadas. In these last days they saw 
many madronos (the strawberry tree, Ar- 
butus unedo) , but the fruit was much smaller 
than that of Spain although of the same 

The Indians from adjacent rancherias in- 
vited the people to visit them, and there was 
a trading of glass beads for black tamales 
and a fruit like a cherry (the Cerasus 
ilicifolia, over half an inch in diameter, 
with a large kernel). 

This encampment was at the "laguna 
Grande" of Whitney's map (1873) about 
two miles south of the western entrance to 
San Mateo Canon. It received and dis- 
charged the waters of the south branch of 
San Mateo Creek, and is now covered by 
the waters of the Crystal Springs Lake or 
reservoir ... It may be asked why Por- 
tola did not follow the north fork of the San 
Mateo Creek through the canon, because it 
was evident it must reach the Bay. A very 
short reconnaissance must have satisfied him 
that the crooked rough bed of the stream 
lying between high and rocky banks with 
many overhanging trees, was not a practical 
route for his weary animals and his large 
body of sick people. . . . 

November 6th. It has been customary to 
assume that the party continued its course to 
the southward of Laguna Grande over the 

April, 1927 



Father Crespi was unusually struck with the beauty of growing things in this region. Char 
its name from Don Caspar, of course 

ing Portola Woods takes 

ligh land five hundred feet above the sea at 
rive or six miles from their encampment of 
:he 5th. This high land, about a mile in ex- 
:ent northwest and southeast, divides the 
waters flowing northwest from those flowing 
southeast. Then down the southern waters 
:hree miles farther to a point near Searsville; 
ind from this place turned eastwardly and 
iown the San Francisquito Creek to the 
Estero or Bay of San Francisco. On this 
-oute the party would have passed the 
aotable "Twin Redwoods" at the railroad 
:rossing between Menlo Park and Palo Alto. 
There is now but one of these trees standing 
ind it is the smaller one, with a height of 
ibout one hundred and thirty feet. 

The length of this route is eighteen statute 
"niles to the bay, and it must be rejected. . . . 

The day's march was through a beautiful 
:ountry; the hills to the west were covered 
with redwood, live oak, and other oaks 
loaded with acorns . . . Father Crespi makes 
:he distance three leagues to the end of the 
lay. They reached the end of the Canada and 
:he termination of the hill range that lay on 

their left, while the mountains on their right 
turned to the eastward and appeared to en- 
circle the estero in a spacious valley . . . 
The encampment may be confidently placed 
near the county town of Redwood. 

Lo ! strange waters ! And lo ! the gleam 
Of mighty waters alien and wide ! 

A tremor of light at the world's extreme, — 
The port where the ships of a world shall 

So the hardy captain found our Bay — 
Toiling hence by the ocean's roar 

From the sprawling oaks of Monterey 
And the pines that sigh by the granite 

So on the San Matean hill 

Stood he at sunset, gazing forth 

On the secret waters, litten and chill, 
That lost their 1 i srh t in the misty north. 

— George Sterling. 



April, 1927 

T^be "Vision of Portola 

By George Sterling 

Scene, the present grove of The Family in Portola 
Valley. Time, the last of twilight. A band of 
mounted men emerges from the shadows of the 
grove, Don Gaspar de Portola at their head. The 
troop consists of himself, his two officers, Pedro 
Fages and Miguel de Constanso, and ten Troop- 
ers, the latter clad in jerkins of leather, much travel- 
stained. Two Priests, also mounted, are of the com- 
pany. Their names arc Father Gomez and Father 

Portola. Halt! In this pleasant spot we'll 
pitch our camp. 
Don Fages, see that all's in order. I 
Will fare a little westward to yon hill. 
For as ere eve upon the mountainside 
We wandered, half I thought I northward 

Great waters. Fare ye well a time. 

[Portola rides onward. The others dis- 
mount, Fages and Constanso giving their 
horses into the care of the Troopers. A 
camp-fire is built and lit, and food and wine 
passed round. Fages and Constanso sit 
apart from the Troopers, who talk in a low 
tone among themselves.] 

Constanso. Didst note, Pedro, that good 
Don Gaspar's brow 
Is ridged with care? 

Fages. Of late it has been so. 

Constanso. Would we might find this 
dubious port we seek, 
O Pedro ! North and ever north we ride, 
Beyond the limits that Cabrera gave, 
And seek the gulf he christened Monterey : 
Its haven eludes us. 

Fages. Even so. 

Yet have we kept the coast, or gazing down 
From heights that Christian foot trod not 

till now, 
Have sought in vain that harbor. 

Constanso. Sought in vain. 

Yet ever on, through savage men and wilds, 
The starlike soul of Portola contends, 
Piercing this night of heathendom. 

Fages. But when, 

When shall the quest be done ? Think 

you, Miguel, 
Cabrera's chart was faulty? Did he err? 
Constanso. Nay ! The great pilot erred not. 
It is we 
That stray in darkness. Yet the hills 

reach north 
Barring the sea forever. 

Fages. It may be 

That soon we come upon the Russians' fort 
That lately they have builded in these wilds. 
Constanso. 'Tis like that Galvez sends us 
to the north 
Even for that. But with our scanty ranks 
How shall we drive them from their 
high redoubt? 
Fages. All is a mystery. Behind the plan 
For missions and the cure of heathen souls, 
A vaster purpose hides. Methinks that Spain 
Would hold both Californias. 

Constanso. But why? 

For scarcely in the lower land have we 
Sure footing. It would seem a thousand years 
Must grope their passage to eternity 
Ere this wild land be tamed, and fit 
for homes. 
Fages. So seems it — now. But, good 
Miguel, enough 
Of doubts ! Let's give our woes a merry end ! 

I To the Soldiers : \ 
A song ! A song of those we love ! 

Soldiers. A song ! 

I The Soldiers sing. Before the end of the 
song Portola rides in and dismounts.] 
Portola. Where are the padres ? 
Fages. They essay to heal 

The mules that fell when we were in the hills 
Today. Three were sore injured. 

Portola. Send us Gomez. 

I Faces retires, and appears in a moment 
followed by Padre Gomez, Portola in the 
meanwhile engaging Constanso in conver- 
sation. I 

Portola. Father, what think you of 
this land? 

Gomez. 'Tis fair. 

Shall we not build a mission hereabouts? 

Portola. Some day we'll found a mission, 
and your hands 
Shall be outstretched to reap a 

thousand souls. 
These Indians shall be your heritage. 
But now, good Gomez, 'tis another thing 
We seek. 

Gomez. Aye, aye ! That port of Monterey 
Viscayno found. 

Portola. He found it with his ships: 

But we do wander in this wilderness, 
And speak by signs to these barbarians, 

Vpril, IQ2 7 



Nor find that harbor. I am just returned 
From yonder hill. Far to the north and east 
[ gazed, but o'er the plains was poured a fog 
In mystery on mystery. The land 
\ppalls me. It is far and lone and sad. 
Who will leave friendly Mexico for this? 

■ Gomez. I ! . . . 

I tell you that to save one simple soul 
I'd cross yon sea, and on its bleakest isle 
'^abor and die forsaken by my kind ! 
[To save one soul, to save one savage soul ! 
Portola. Aye, aye ! such is thy nature. As 

for me, 
1 do abhor these solitudes, and now 
Would fain return to where our ships await; 
But in far Mexico great Galvez sits 
And plans an empire, mindful of 

the Russian. 
[I am an arrow that his bow has shot. 
fin the ocean's voice 

I catch his last command. The very night 
jSeems but his shadow. I must on — 

but whither ? 

■ Gomez. I'll ask our God for thee. Per- 

chance He'll send 
jA sign, a voice, a guide. 

Portola. None else can say 

lUnto what end or aim or mortal good 
[We wander in this desert which no man 
Will make his home for centuries to come . . . 
;But let's to sleep. At sunrise I will call 
A council. We'll decide if furthermore 
'We northward hold our way, or to the south 
Haste, and the welcome shelter of our ships. 

[The Troopers disperse. Portola ivraps his 
cloak about him and lies down by the fire. 
Beyond him sleep Constanso and Fages. 
The fire burns low. Portola sleeps. From 
the depths of the grove beyond him now ap- 
proaches, slowly, a figure in the guise of an 
angel, white-robed. It comes to Portola. 
takes him by the hand, and leads him several 
steps forward. During the dialogue that fol- 
lows, Portola's eyes are closed and he 
speaks as if in slumber, with a deepening 
awe in his tones.] 

The Spirit. I am the angel of the years 
to be, — 
Star of that night wherein the future lies. 
Vision I grant, and light on times unborn, 
And prospect of inevitable things 
That are not, yet shall be. Gaze, 

Gaspar, gaze 
To south : what seest thou ? 

Portola. Behold ! the path 

I and my band have trodden is become 
A highway to my people. Mexico 

Puts forth her sons and daughters, and 

the land 
Is happy with their homes. Far, far away, 
Extend the fertile acres. Over all, 
A silver music cast from mission tow'rs 
Tells of salvation to the savage. Still 
They take the royal highway, and I hear 
The sound of men and horses hurrying 

north — 
Ever north. Oh! hearthstones of my race! 
The Spirit. They take what they shall lose, 

and come in hope 
Who soon must pass. God dreams a wider 

Than theirs. Yet have they shown the path 

to man. . . . 
Gaspar, look to the east ! 

Portola. Whence are those men, those 

eager multitudes ? 
The tramplings of their cohorts shake 

the plains ! 
They seem a flood, whose waters in their rage 
The mighty mountains bar not. Now at last 
The earlier torrents reach the rocky flanks 
And hurry through the gorges, and come 

Resistless, to these valleys. 

The Spirit. Turn again, 

Gaspar, to the south : what seest thou ? 
Portola. I see smoke rising out of Mexico, 

And hollow echoes of a thunder spent. 

1 see a Banner never seen till now. 

The Spirit. O Gaspar, gaze thou west- 
ward, for those hills 
Are now as crystal to thee, like the years. 
W^hat seest thou ? 

Portola. I see a thousand sails 

That northward, ever northward, urge 

the keels ; 
They pass me, hasting northward. 

[Portola turns his face slowly northward, 
following the ship's course, till his gaze is 
turned full to the north. An expression of 
awe and amazement comes over his counte- 
The Spirit. And what there 

Beholdest thou, Gaspar de Portola ? 

Portola. I see a city rising on far hills. 
It spreads, and masts and towers crowd 

the sky. 
Queen of this sea and all the virgin west, 
She sits her throne in beauty, holding forth 
Her scepter unto many lands and men. 
The}' come ; they meet : they serve her. In 

her courts 
Are many laughters. Now she casts abroad 



April, 192 

A largess to the nations of her gold, 
And feeds them with her grain, and with 

her grapes 
Maketh them merry. Was there ever yet 
A queen so gracious ? Still her realms 

And still arise the houses and the groves, 
And now — nay, pity, pity ! 

[An expression of terror crosses his face.] 
The Spirit. Take thou heart ! 

Tell what thou seest ! 

Portola. Christ ! the solid earth 

Is shaken, and she falters on her throne ! 
Her walls are down ! her temples pass in fire ! 
A pall of smoke conceals her from my sight ! 
God ! she is dead ! she will not smile again, 
Who was so fair, so gracious ! 

[Portola sinks to one knee, and covers his 
face with his mantle.] 

The Spirit. Gaze once more, 

O Portola ! and trust the eternal ways. 

[Portola still on one knee, but with mantle 
cast back and arms outstretched to the 

Portola. Oh ! still she lives, and fairer 

than before ! 
Her children still surround her and 

her tow'rs 
Gleam in the morning ! Over sea and land 
They come in homage, for a mystic flame 
Is on her turrets, and her deathless lips, 
Wiser for sorrows past, call unto men 
With promise of new freedoms. Still the years 
Bless and replenish, and make wide 

her fame. 
Her sister cities over all the world 
Envy yet love her. Still the winds of good 
Cleanse her and fill her and make clean 

her heart 
With vaster knowledge of man's need of man. 
Now Justice, and not Charity, hath sway. 
Each in each other sees his brother's face. 
The weak grow strong, the strong lose not 

their strength, 
And all men, now one purpose, face the 

years — 
One purpose for all wisdom, joy, and good. 
Behold! mankind shall be one Family! 
The Spirit. 

[Taking Portola, who rises, by the hand.] 
Gaspar, the secret light by which thy soul 
Hath gazed into the years I now withdraw. 
Remember. Yet that hidden radiance 
Shall leave some trace of glory ; thou 


Shalt face thy perils with a stouter heart, 
Till victory be thine, O thou first knight 
And champion of this imperial land, 
Incomparable California! 

[The Spirit leads Portola once more to his 
place by the camp-fire. He sinks down, his 
eyes still closed and his slumber still un- 
broken. The Spirit withdraws on the path 
by which it came, slowly and silently. A 
deep hush is on the grove. Portola suddenly 
stirs, lifts himself on one arm, and stares 
wildly about him. He staggers to his feet, 
still searching the night with his eyes. Sud- 
denly he cries out.] 

Portola. O Fages ! Gomez ! Constanso ! 
Crespi ! 
Come swiftly. 

[Portola is suddenly surrounded by his 
officers and men, amid clashing swords.] 

I would tell you ! Fages ! Gomez ! 

[There are cries of "Aye! tell us!" — "Where 
is the foe?" — "What have you seen?"] 

Portola. Lo ! Even now it seemed that one 

stood here 
In radiance, and he said — what did he say? 
I saw — what saw I ? Glories ? Terrors ! 

Dreams ! 
Lo! vision was upon me, but some wind 
Has swept the waters of my memory. 
And all that lay enmirrored there is gone — 
Aye, blurred and perished ! Christ ! what 

was that dream ? 
For I have gazed on splendors and despairs, 
And on the night skies of futurity 
Have seen strange stars and shadows, and 

Vast morning surging eastward on the world ! 
What flags were those ? what faces ? and 

what hope 
Cried from that music ? Christ ! but all is fled ! 
Gomez. Yet has that vision come to you 

from God. 
For some new light is in your eyes. It seems 
As though a saint had laid his palm 
Upon your brow, or led you by the hand. 
This is God's work. 

Portola. I know it is of God; 

For now fresh hope and strength exult 

my soul, 
And now I feel this new land shall be ours. 
It is not long before the morning breaks — 
Let us go forth to meet it with a song — 
The road is free before us. Onward, all ! 
The world shall know of California ! 

[The troops form behind Portola, and de- 
part, singing.] 


pring Valley 

Water Com pan y 


F. B. Anderson Benjamin Bangs W. B. Bourn 

S. P. Eastman 

Sidney M. Ehrman 

E. L. Eyre Robert G. Hooker 

Frank B. King 

E. J. McCutchen 


Warren Olney, Jr. 

A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 


Chairman of the Board 

W. B. Bourn 


John J. Sharon 


S. P. Eastman 

Assistant Secretary 

H. M. Kinsey 


A. H. Payson 

Office Manager 

0. E. Clemens 


E. J. McCutchen 


F. P. Muhlner 


G. A. Elliott 


Benjamin Bangs 



F. P. Muhlner 

Manager, Water Sales 

Assistant Auditor 

D. W. Cooper 


O. E. Clemens 

Assistant Manager 

V. E. Perry 

Chief Engineer 

Assistant Chief Engineer 
Office Engineer 

G. A. Elliott 

T. W. Espy 

I. E. Flaa 

Supervisor, Consumers' Accounts 
Supervisor, Collections 
Manager, Docks and Shipping 

Superintendent Agricultural 

W. D. Ryder 

A. W. Till 

H. Templeman 

Superintendent, City 

George W. Pracy 

Assistant Superintendent 

F. W. Roeding 
C. H. Schween 

Assistant Superintendent 

O. G. Goldman 

Assistant to Superintendent 

Frank Peters 

Foreman, Service and Meter 

Joseph Kappeler 

Foreman, City Distribution 

J. J. Miley 

Director of Publicity 

Edward F. O'Day 

Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis 

Manager Real Estate 

Assistant Superintendent 

S. M. Millard 


Theodore J. Wilder 

Superintendent Alameda System a. w. Ebright 

Purchasing Agent 

J. H. Le Pla 



uch art as this cannot be done 
justice to with the pen; diagrams 
would be necessary, showing how 
in every case the lines of the sculp' 
ture harmonise subtly, or clash to 
be more subtly harmonised, with the movement, 
the immensely varied, absolutely spontaneous 
movement of the water; the sculptor, become in' 
finitely modest, willing to sacrifice his own wor\, 
to ma\e it uninteresting in itself, as a result of the 
hours and days he must have spent watching the 
magnificent manners and exquisite tric\s of nat' 
ural waterfalls — nay, the mere bursting along' 
side ofbrea\waters, the jutting up between stones, 
of every trout'Stream and milVdam. 


In Old Italian Gardens 

'AN Francisco "Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 


Volume VI 

July, 1927 

Number 3 


fountains 'Dispersed Abroad" 

By the Editor 

THE Greeks and Romans placed their 
city fountains near the temples of the 
j;ods, thus enforcing upon the populace the 
Thought that water was the gift of Heaven. 
In Greece it was the usual thing to dedicate 
die city fountains, no less than the wayside 
springs, to gods and goddesses, nymphs and 
aeroes. There was a religious purpose in this, 
and perhaps also a policy of expedience, for 
hoi polloi were thus impelled not only to 
reverence water but also to avoid wasting it. 

Some of the most beautiful stories of 
Greek mythology are associated with foun- 
tains. The famous fountain of Pirene at 
iCorinth was formed of white stone, and con- 
tained a number of cells from which the 
(water flowed into an open basin. This beau- 
tiful fountain took its name from the nymph 
Pirene, who could not be consoled when her 
son was slain by the arrows of the huntress 
.Diana. Poor Pirene shed such copious tears 
that the gods in pity changed her into a 
fountain. It was at the fountain of Pirene 
that the Corinthian hero Bellerophon found 
Pegasus, the winged horse of the Muses. 
(Having undertaken the fearsome task of 
islaying the Chimaera, Bellerophon passed 
the night in the temple of Minerva at Cor- 
inth, and while he slept the goddess gave 
him a golden bridle and showed him Pegasus 
drinking of the fountain of Pirene. The horse 
came willingly at sight of the magic bridle; 
Bellerophon mounted, sped through the air, 
and slew the Chimaera. 

Another Corinthian fountain, that of 
Glauce, was associated with the horrifying 
crimes of the witch Medea. The demigod 
Jason jilted Medea when he fell in love with 

Glauce, or Creusa, as she was also called, a 
beautiful princess of Corinth. Medea had 
done many strange and terrible deeds to 
win the love of Jason, and she sought a 
hideous revenge for his infidelity. Pretend- 
ing forgiveness, she sent a magnificent robe 
as a gift to the bride. But the robe was poi- 
soned, and no sooner had Glauce put it on 
than she was attacked by fiery torments. In 
her agony she plunged into a fountain and 
was drowned. The name of the unhappy 
bride-to-be was given to the fountain. 

"In the vale of Enna," says Charles Mills 
Gayley, "is a lake embowered in woods, 
where Spring reigns perpetual. Here Proser- 
pine was playing with her companions, 
gathering lilies and violets, when Pluto saw 
her, loved her, and carried her off. She 
screamed for help to her mother and her 
companions; but the ravisher urged on his 
steeds and outdistanced pursuit. When he 
reached the river Cyane, it opposed his pas- 
sage, whereupon he struck the bank with his 
trident, and the earth opened and gave him 
a passage to Tartarus." 

Thus begins one of the most touchingly 
beautiful stories of Greek mythology — the 
rape of Proserpine and the heart-broken 
search for the lost maiden by her mother, 
Ceres. The wanderings of Ceres brought her 
at last to the river Cyane, whose guardian 
nymph feared to tell her directly of Pluto's 
actions, but conveyed the story none the less 
by taking up the girdle Proserpine had 
dropped in her flight and floating it to the 
feet of the mother. Thereupon Ceres cursed 
the innocent earth, precipitating drought and 
famine, flood and [Continued on page 14] 


July, 1927I 

Paganism and Christianity both find expression in the fountains of Rome. Above, the Temple of Vesta, 

with its ancient fountain. . . . Below, the fountain of the Pauline Waters, so called because Pope 

Paul V restored Alsietina or Augusta, one of the ancient aqueducts, rearing this fountain in 1612. 

The same Pope restored the aqueduct of Trajan. 

July, 1927 


The fountains in the piazza of St. Peter's always receive special mention as being in exceptionally 

good taste. . . . All pilgrims to the Eternal City know also the fountain in the Piazza of Spain, 

in front of the noble stairs leading to Trinita de Monti, where the flower-venders display their blossoms 

that the pious may buy for the altars. 


Perugia has no monument of the great thirteenth century more universally admired than "Fonte Mag- 

giore," which throws its delicate streams upward in front of the Municipal Palace. It was designed in 

1277 by Nicholas and John of Pisa, and is one of the finest works of art of its period. Ruskin pail 

high tribute to this fountain. 



This ancient well-head stands in the courtyard of the Montecatini Palace at Ferrara. In that lovely old 

city there is no treasure of the olden times more glamorous than this masterpiece of stone and iron. 

Forgotten generations of water-carriers wore down this pavement. They came here many times for 

water to wash away the red stains of war. 


July, 1927 

Caserta has been called "the Versailles of the Kings of Naples." The royal palace and the spacious 
gardens date from 1752. The great fountain has an upper and a lower cascade, as pictured here. Apollo 
presides over the upper, which is majestic and calm, while the lower, with its "finny monsters." roars 

with tumultuous fury. 

July, 1927 


The fountain of Neptune in the piazza of the same name is outstanding among the Renaissance glories 
of the wonderful city of Bologna. It was designed by the great John of Bologna, to whom the world of 
beauty-lovers is also indebted for the Well-head of the Lion that is pictured on the cover of this issue 

of Sax Francisco Water. 


July, 192- 

In the Marine Plaza of Palermo in Sicily stands this fine fountain designed by Paul Amato in 1698. 
The exuberant handling of mythological subjects was characteristic of that period of transition, but 
the effect was not always as happy as was obtained here, where, in spite of detail, the water is 

permitted to dominate. 

Jri.Y, 1927 


Above, one of the famous fountains in the Court of the Oranges of the Cathedral of Cordova, 

formerly the Mosque al-Jami. . . . Below, the well-head in the courtyard of the Church of St. 

Stephen in Bologna. Note the contrast between the architectural sunniness of the Arabian city and 

the somber beauty of the Italian town. 



July, 1927 

Above, another famous fountain in the Court of the Oranges, Cordova. This was the fount of ablu- 
tions, where the Moors purified themselves before entering the mosque. . . . Below, a fountain 
in the Arabian Gardens of the Alcazar at Seville. Reminiscences of this spot are aroused by the new 
domestic architecture of California. 

July, 1927 



San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 

Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. VI. J LLY , 1927 

No. 3 

."Water . . . bubbling up in every street and 
market-place in abundant gushings, or poured in 

\a roaring torrent under the arches of gigantic 

THIS issue of San Francisco Water 
is dedicated to the dignity of water as 
expressed in world-famous fountains and 

"Such art as this," Vernon Lee writes in a 
delightful essay on fountains, "cannot be 
done justice to with the pen ; diagrams would 
be necessary." It will perhaps be conceded 
that the photographer has been able to do a 
very fair measure of justice to this art of 

The photographs were thoughtfully se- 
lected during a trip abroad by Mr. Gardner 
Dailey, to whose judgment Spring Valley 
Water Company refers all its artistic prob- 
lems. Mr. Dailey selected this series of pic- 
tures with the same delicate insight that he 
applied to the assembling of the very un- 
usual aqueduct pictures that were repro- 
duced in this publication for January, 1927. 
It is the editor's hope that this Fountain 
number will yield as much pleasure and 
profit as that Aqueduct number seems to 
have given. 

As an old San Francisco institution, 
Spring Valley Water Company is deeply in- 
terested in the progress of this city, not 
merely along industrial but also along ar- 
tistic lines. When Willis Polk designed the 
Water Temple at Sunol, and when Arthur 
Putnam designed the fountain at Pilarcitos, 
they were helping this Company to express 
its understanding of the dignity of water. 
Mr. Dailey was doing the same thing when 
he gave us the beautiful Gate House at 
Calaveras Reservoir. 

In a modern water supply like Spring 
Valley there is no call for those great public 
fountains that formed an integral part of 

the ancient Roman water system. The water 
consumer does not go to the fountain, pitcher 
on shoulder, in this era of American life. 

Nevertheless there is a place for fountains 
in a city like San Francisco. Our charming 
little Stevenson Fountain in Portsmouth 
Square is known in every nook and corner of 
the world where a lover of Robert Louis 
Stevenson abides. It was the first memorial 
ever reared in his honor, and the city owes it 
to the emotions raised in the breast of Mr. 
Bruce Porter by the death of R. L. S. In 
rounding out his design Mr. Porter enjoyed 
the collaboration of the late Willis Polk. 

Other San Francisco fountains of artistic 
distinction are the Donahue Fountain, de- 
signed by Mr. Douglas Tilden, and pre- 
sented to the city by Mervyn Donahue in 
memory of his father, Peter Donahue; and 
the Native Sons' Fountain, the work of Mr. 
Robert Aitken, which the city owes to the 
munificence of the Hon. James D. Phelan. 

Some day perhaps a monumental fountain 
will rise in the Civic Center. If of proper 
proportions it would undoubtedly serve to 
dwarf the too magnificent distances of that 
beautiful place and draw the buildings to- 
gether in closer intimacy. 

Some day, too, perhaps we shall have a 
fountain rising over the marvelous Spring 
of Fruitfulness, El Polin, that was so dear 
to the hearts of our Spanish and Mexican 
predecessors here and that is so regrettably 
neglected nowadays. 

We are but a young city, and though the 
graces of life both public and private have 
been cultivated here in a becoming spirit, 
much remains to be done by public enter- 
prise and by private benefaction. It is to be 
hoped that when "fountains are dispersed 
abroad" over our great city, they will be de- 
signed and erected according to that noble 
Burnham text so dear to Willis Polk: "Make 
no little plans . . . Aim high in hope and 
work . . . Let your watchword be order, 
and your beacon beauty." 
# * # 

On the cover of this issue of San Francisco 
Water is reproduced the exquisite Well- 
head of the Lion which stands in the court- 
yard of the Bevilacqua Palace at Bologna. 
This is one of the finest courtyards in Eu- 
rope, a monument to the greatness of John of 
Bologna, who also designed the well-head. 
It dates from 1481. 



July, 1927 

The Garden of the Water Surprise in the Alcazar at Seville. The jets were not released until the garden 

was full of guests, thus providing for everybody an unexpected drenching. That was a form of Moorish 

humor worthy of the royal jesters who romp through the Arabian Nights. The joke is sometimes played 

in American gardens, but is not greatly relished. 



This little garden of a Spanish gentleman in the famous university town of Salamanca has a lovely 
fountain, which, though quite modern, was designed in the best traditions of Old Spain. Water here 
must be used thriftily, but that it is used with judgment may be inferred from the sweet profusion 

of growing things. 



July, 1927- 

" fountains dispersed abroad" 

[Continued from page 1] plague. But finally 
the fountain Arethusa made intercession with 
Ceres, telling her how unwillingly the earth 
had opened for Pluto; and Ceres revoked 
her curse. 

Stories like these indicate how profoundly 
the Greeks venerated their fountains. "Water 
is best," sang Pindar in his famous ode, and 
the water of rivers, springs, and artificial 
fountains was personified — nay, deified — by 
the early myth-making poets. Greece was 
always a land of song and story, and one 
can easily picture the women and children 
clustered at the fountain to fill their pitchers, 
telling and retelling the lovely legends that 
had come down to them from time im- 

Some of those very ancient Greek foun- 
tains were elaborated with sculpture. One at 
Corinth — a true City of Fountains — had a 
bronze statue of Neptune standing on a dol- 
phin from which the water flowed. That 
motive has been repeated endlessly ever 
since. What was the name of the sculptor 
who thought of it first there is now no way 
of knowing. His imagination has been a boon 
to sculptors throughout the ages. The fact 
that Neptune ruled salt water has never been 
permitted to interfere with the enthronement 
of this particular deity over the element that 
is potable. 

Bounding to light, 

As if from ocean's cave, 

The struggling sea-horse 

Paws the lucid wave, 

While health and plenty smile, 

And Neptune's form 

Majestic sways 

The trident of the storm. 

The poet is right, as usual, in assigning to the 
doughty old god the powers that truly be- 
longed to him. But the sculptor has captured 
Neptune with his trident, dragging him 
ignominiously from his stormy domain to 
dry land. Here is a mystery of misapplica- 
tion not to be looked into too knowingly. It 
may be that the sculptor (to speak gen- 
erally, and not censoriously) does not think 
of water as a beverage, and that therefore 
he regards the distinction between fresh and 
salt water as trivial. 

The aqueducts of Rome supplied water 

primarily to the baths and the public foun- 
tains. The wealthy Romans had water-pipes 
in their homes, but the great mass of the j 
population drew water from the fountains 
and carried it to their dwellings. Obviously, 
the fountains had to be large and numerous. 
As the city waxed in wealth and culture, I 
these fountains were beautified with figures 
and heads, in imitation of Greek models. 

Equally elaborate and much more luxuri- 
ous were the fountains installed in Roman 
villas and country houses. In these the water 
usually fell from above into a large marble ' 
basin, and often there was a second fall into 
a lower receptacle. Fountains of this sort ' 
have been uncovered at Pompeii. One of i 
these "is covered with a sort of mosaic con- 
sisting of vitrified tesserae of different colors, 
but in which blue predominates. These are I 
sometimes arranged in not inelegant pat- | 
terns, and the grand divisions as well as the I 
borders are entirely formed and ornamented 
with real sea-shells, neither calcined by the 
heat of the eruption nor changed by the j 
lapse of so many centuries." Much simpler 
were the public fountains of Pompeii, nu- j 
merously placed in the open spaces and at 
crossways. They had little ornament except 
a human or animal head from the mouth of | 
which the water issued. 

The inclination to dignify water at its 
sources and at the central points whence it is j 
distributed to a community is a thoroughly | 
natural expression of human nature. It is 
confined to no particular races, but seeks 
utterance in every clime and every age. 
Christianity only intensified this natural 
feeling. Springs and wells were dedicated to 
the Blessed Virgin and the saints, and foun- 
tains at an early age of our era began to dis- 
play sacred images. No matter how plentiful 
water may be, there is an instinctive preju- 
dice against wasting it, and of course it is of 
paramount importance to preserve the purity 
of water. Religious sentiment by no means 
disdains subserving such worthy ends as 
these, and fountains with sacred names and 
sacred figures have come down to us from the 
remote ages of the Christian era. Medieval 
times flowered in many noble fountains that 
are still preserved, and the Renaissance, as 
in all other branches of art, was a rebirth in 
the designing of fountains. Our modern cen- 
turies have elaborated fountain design — too 
often they have over-elaborated it — but few 

July. 1927 



I critics will allow that modern fountains 
: deserve to be compared with the older ex- 

In the United States, nevertheless, there 
[are some splendid fountains, most of them 
lowing their existence to the special archi- 
tectural inspirations that created this, that, 
;or the other World's Fair. They are, happily, 
a far cry from the ugly old town pump of 
.earlier American history. 

In California, fountain architecture and 
sculpture stem most noticeably from the 
[fountains of Spain and Mexico. The first 
influences were exerted by Padre Junipero 
Serra and his band of Franciscans, who 
; raised in some of the Mission gardens foun- 
tains that served to remind them in moments 
of loneliness of the calm monastic cloisters 
'they had left in far-away Spain. 

No modern artist, in all probability, has 
written as wisely and beautifully about water 
as John Ruskin. Again and again he treats 
the theme in book and lecture. Where may 
ione hope to match a passage like this: 

"That you may fill your cup with pure 
water, you must go to the well or spring; 
you need a fence round the well; you need 
1 some tube or trough, or other means of con- 
fining the stream at the spring. For the con- 
veyance of the current to any distance you 
[must build either enclosed or open aque- 
ducts ; and in the hot square of the city where 
you set it free, you find it good for health 
, and pleasantness to let it leap into a foun- 

"On these several needs you have a school 
of sculpture founded; in the decoration of 
the walls of wells in level countries, and of 
the sources of springs in mountainous ones, 
and chiefly of all, where the women of house- 
hold or market meet at the city fountain. 

"There is, however, a further reason for 
the use of art here than in any other mate- 
rial service, so far as we may, by art, express 
our reverence and thankfulness. Whenever a 
nation is in its right mind, it always has a 
deep sense of divinity in the gift of rain from 
heaven, filling its heart with food and glad- 
ness; and all the more when that gift be- 
comes gentle and perennial in the flowing of 

"It literally is not possible that any fruit- 
ful power of the Muses should be put forth 
upon a people which disdains their Helicon; 
still less is it possible that any Christian 

nation should grow up 'tanquam lignum 
quod plantatum est secus decursus aquarum' 
(like a tree planted by the rivers of water), 
which cannot recognize the lesson meant in 
their being told of the places where Re- 
bekah was met; where Rachel, — where Zip- 
porah, — and she who was asked for water 
under Mount Gerizim by a Stranger, weary, 
who had nothing to draw with. 

"And truly, when our mountain springs 
are set apart in vale or craggy glen, a glade 
of wood green through the drought of sum- 
mer, far from cities, then it is best to let 
them stay in their own happy peace; but if 
near towns, and liable therefore to be defiled 
by common usage, we could not use the love- 
liest art more worthily than by sheltering the 
spring and its first pools with precious 

Ruskin returns to the sweet reasonableness 
of lavishing the highest art upon fountains 
in this delightful paragraph, drawn from 
another essay : 

"There is no subject of street ornament so 
wisely chosen as the fountain, where it is a 
fountain of use; for it is just there that per- 
haps the happiest pause takes place in the 
labour of the day, when the pitcher is rested 
on the edge of it, and the breath of the bearer 
is drawn deeply, and the hair swept from 
the forehead, and the uprightness of the 
form declined against the marble ledge, and 
the sound of the kind word or light laugh 
mixes with the trickle of the falling water, 
heard shriller and shriller as the pitcher 
fills. What pause is so sweet as that — so full 
of the depth of ancient days, so softened 
with the calm of pastoral solitude." 

"She who was asked for water by a 
Stranger, weary, who had nothing to draw 
with" — 

Did not Ruskin here, unerringly, put de- 
served emphasis on the most beautiful of all 
fountain stories? There are many notable 
wells and fountains in the Old Testament, 
and their associations are symbolical as well 
as historic. But the symbolism of water is 
plumbed to its deepest depth in this New 
Testament story of her "who was asked for 
water by a Stranger." 

The story is told by the Evangelist John in 
his tenderest vein, and it seems eminently 
fitting to quote it here, thus dignifying these 
pages devoted in all sincerity to the honor of 
water : 


L~jL E left Judea, and went again into Galilee. 

And he was of necessity to pass through Samaria. 

He cometh therefore to a city of Samaria, which is called Sichar, near the land which Jacob 
gave to his son Joseph. 

Now Jacob'' s well was there. Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the 
well. It was about the sixth hour. 

There cometh a woman of Samaria, to draw water. Jesus saith to her: Give me to drink. 

For his disciples were gone into the city to buy meats. 

Then that Samaritan woman saith to him : How dost thou, being a Jew, ask of me to drink, 
who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans. 

Jesus answered and said to her: If thou didst know the gift of God, and who he is that saith to 
thee, Give me to drink; thou perhaps would have, asked of him, and he would have given you 
living water. 

The woman saith to him : Sir, thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep; 
from whence then hast thou living water? 

Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank thereof himself , and 
his children, and his cattle? 

Jesus answered, and said to her: Whosoever drinketh of this water, shall thirst again, but he 
that shall drink of the water that I tuill give him, shall not thirst for ever: 

But the water that I will give him, shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into 
life everlasting. 

The woman saith to him: Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come hither 
to draw. 

Jesus saith to her: Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 

The woman answered, and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: Thou hast said welh 
I have no husband: 

For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast, is not thy husband. This thou 
hast said truly. 

The woman saith to him: Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 

And immediately his disciples came; and they wondered that he talked with the woman. Yet no 
man said: What seekest thou? or, why talkest thou with her? 

The woman therefore left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men 

Come, and see a man who has told me all things whatsoever I have done. Is not he the Christ? 

They went therefore out of the city, and came unto him. 

Now of that city many of the Samaritans believed in him, for the word of the woman giving 
testimony: He told me all things whatsoever I have done. 

So when the Samaritans were come to him, they desired that he would tarry there. And hi 
abode there two days. 

And many more believed in him because of his own word. 

And they said to the woman: We now believe, not for thy saying: for we ourselves heard 
him, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world. 

Now after two days, he departed thence, and went into Galilee. 

For Jesus himself gave testimony that a prophet hath no honor in his own country. 

Spring Valley W 

ater Company 


F. B. Anderson Benjamin Bangs W. B. Bou 


S. P. Eastman Sidney M. Ehrman 

E. L. Eyre Robert G. Hooker 

Frank B. King 

E. J. McCutchen 

• L. F. Monteagle Warren Olney, Jr. 

A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 


Chairman of the Board 

W. B. Bourn 

Resident S. P. Eastman 


John J. Sharon 

v'ice- President A. H. Payson 

Assistant Secretary 

H. M. Kinsey 

v 'ice-President E. J. McCutchen 

Office Manager 

0. E. Clemens 

Vice-President G. a. Elliott 


Benjamin Bangs 


Auditor j ohn j. Sharon 

Assistant Auditor D. W. Cooper 

Manager, Water Sales 

0. E. Clemens 

Assistant Manager 

V. E. Perry 

Chief Engineer G. A. Elliott 
Assistant Chief Engineer T. W. Espy 
Office Engineer I. E. Flaa 

Supervisor, Consumers' Accounts 
Supervisor, Collections 
Manager, Docks and Shipping 

W. D. Ryder 

A. W. Till 

H. Templeman 

Superintendent, City 

Distribution George W. Pracy 
Assistant Superintendent O. G. Goldman 
Foreman, Service and Meter Joseph Kappeler 

Superintendent Agricultural 

Assistant Superintendent 

Assistant to Superintendent 

F. W. Roeding 

C. H. Schween 

Frank Peters 

Foreman, City Distribution J. J. Miley 

Director of Publicity 

Edward F. O'Day 

Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis 

Manager Real Estate 

Assistant Superintendent S. M. Millard 


Theodore J. Wilder 

Superintendent Alameda System a. w. Ebright 

Purchasing Agent 

J. H. Le Pla 



Y\ V PHA nPTi 

till Waters: it has the inward music that 
lies in certain words . . . amber, ivory, foam, 
silence, dreams; that lies often in some mar- 
riage of words . . . moonlight at sea, wind in 
dar\ woods, dewy pastures, old sorrowful 
things; that dwells in some names of things, as chrysoprase; 
or in some combination of natural terms and associations, as 
wind and wave; or in some names of women and dreams, 
Ruth, Alaciel, Imogen, Helen, Cleopatra; or in the words that 
serve in the courts of music . . . cadence, song, threnody, 
epithalamion, viol, flute, prelude, fugue. One can often evade 
the heavy airs of the hours of weariness by the spell of one of 
these wooers of dreams. Foam — and the hour is gathered up 
li\e mist, and we are amid "perilous seas in faery lands for' 
lorn": Wind — and the noises of the town are li\e the hum' 
ming of wild bees in old woods, and one is under ancient 
boughs, listening, or standing solitary in the dus\ by a forlorn 
shore with a tempestuous sea filling the dar\ness with whispers 
and confused rumours and incommunicable things: Ruth — 
and sorrow and exile are become loveliness: Helen — and 
that immemorial desire is become our desire, and that phan' 
torn beauty is become our dream and our passion. Still 
Waters — surely through that gate the mind may slip away 
from the tedious and unwelcome, and be alone among forests 
where the birch leans and dreams into an amber'brown pool, 
or by a mountain4a\e where small white clouds lie li\e sleep' 
ing birds, or on moonlit lagoons where the reed and the reed's 
image are as one, and the long mirrors are unshaken by any 
wandering air, unvisited but by the passing 
soundless shadows of travel' 
ling wings. 

William Sharp (Fiona Macleod) 

'AN Francisco Woter 


Spring Valley Water Company 



October, 1927 

Number 4 

1921-1927: *A T^eport of Progress 

By the Editor 

THE history of Spring Valley Water 
Company during the past six years pro- 
vides an excellent illustration of the substan- 
tial progress that can be accomplished by a 
public utility when public authority gives it 
I full measure of co-operation in the solu- 
tion of pressing problems. 
! In order to meet its service obligations, a 
public utility must always strive to maintain 
I relationship of understanding with those 
public bodies which are charged with the 
luty of overseeing its operations and its 

' Public-utility success depends upon good- 
will, and good-will is essentially mutual or 
t is nothing. This mutuality of good-will 
nust be cultivated not only between the utili- 
ty and the public which makes up the utility's 
ustomers, but also between the utility and 
hose official bodies to which all its activities 
ire an open book. 

In California the chief of these bodies is 
he Railroad Commission, which corresponds 

the Public Utilities Commission in other 

The present seems a fitting time to review 
he activities of Spring Valley Water Com- 
oany during the past half-dozen years, with 

1 view to estimating how much these activi- 
ies have benefited San Francisco, and with 
I he further purpose of indicating how im- 

>ortant official co-operation has been in 
naking possible the results that have been 


I order to understand what Spring Valley 
iVater Company has been able to accom- 

plish for the development of San Francisco's 
water supply during the period between 192 1 
and the present day, a few words must be 
said about previous happenings. 

In the year 19 17 Spring Valley filed with 
the Railroad Commission an application for 
a needed increase in rates. The evidence pre- 
sented to the Federal Court in the 1907-19 14 
rate case was filed with the Commission as 
part of the evidence of the new application. 
This showing was largely supplemented by 
additional testimony of many authoritative 

In the latter part of 19 19, with the certain 
knowledge that a substantial rate increase 
was inevitable, the City sought a suspension 
of the rate case before the Commission pend- 
ing a campaign for the purchase of Spring 

The Company agreed to co-operate with 
the City in this matter, and the Commission 
on its part agreed, at the request of the City, 
to determine the fair value of the properties 
for purposes of sale. The election of March, 
1 92 1, though it carried by a large majority, 
failed of the necessary two-thirds vote, and 
it was incumbent upon Spring Valley to con- 
tinue the administration of the San Francisco 
water supply. 

Since the case was originally filed with 
the Commission in 19 17, San Francisco had 
grown rapidly in population and industrial 
requirements. The intervening years had 
been a period of sparse rainfall. As the con- 
sumption grew, the reservoir storage became 
depleted. Without additional rates the credit 
of the Company would not afford the large 
investment entailed in the construction of a 



pipe-line from the Calaveras Reservoir to 
bring additional water into service. 

Coincident with these conditions of grow- 
ing demand, depleted sources, and inade- 
quate credit, the construction by the City of 
the Hetch Hetchy system was proceeding. 
Hetch Hetchy, however, could not be com- 
pleted for a period of years, so Hetch Hetchy 
could not be looked to for immediate solu- 
tion of the City's water problem. 

This is the situation that confronted the 
City, the Water Company, and the Railroad 
Commission after the failure of the purchase 
election in 192 1. 


In these circumstances the Railroad Com- 
mission handed down in August, 192 1, a 
decision which, with later modifications, has 
ever since controlled water-supply condi- 
tions in San Francisco. The decision granted 
Spring Valley Water Company an increase 
in water rates, and laid down a program for 
the City and the Company to follow. The 
outstanding features of this program were 
as follows : 

First: It was stipulated that the City and 
County of San Francisco should construct 
the Bay Division of the Hetch Hetchy con- 
duit between Niles in Alameda County and 
the Crystal Springs Reservoir in San Mateo 
County, and should make an arrangement 
with the Water Company whereby the latter 
would have the use of this conduit to convey 
water from the Alameda sources to Crystal 
Springs. The Water Company on its part 
was required to increase the height of Cala- 
veras Dam sufficiently to produce an addi- 
tional water supply of twenty-four million 
gallons daily, and to make such other changes 
in its structures as might be required to de- 
liver this additional water to a new reservoir 
at Niles. 

Second: The Water Company was re- 
quired to pay annually to the City five per 
cent of the cost of constructing the Bay Divi- 
sion of the Hetch Hetchy conduit, these pay- 
ments not to exceed $250,000 a year, and to 
pay all costs of operation and maintenance 
of the conduit, with the exception of replace- 
ments, extraordinary repairs, or damage due 
to faulty construction. 

Third: Commencing with the year 1922, 
Spring Valley was to establish out of its 
surplus a fund for amortizing capital ex- 

penditures required of it, this fund to be 
created as follows: After payment of all 
operating and maintenance expenses, includ- 
ing those for the Hetch Hetchy conduit and 
pumping station, the payment of taxes and 
assessments, the creation of an annual de- 
preciation reserve of $300,000, the payment 
of bond interest, etc., and the payment of 
dividends, there was to be set aside out of 
surplus every year for ten years the sum of 
$119,240, with interest at five per cent com- 
pounded annually. Should the surplus in 
any year be in excess of the above require- 
ments, such surplus was to be divided 
equally between the amortization fund and 
the corporate surplus of the Company. 

Fourth : In the event that the properties of 
Spring Valley should be purchased by the 
City prior to January 1, 1932, at the basic 
price fixed by the Railroad Commission, and 
accepted by the City and the Company, the 
City was to take the amortization fund, in- 
cluding the contributions from surplus. But 
if the City's option to purchase should not 
be exercised by January 1, 1932, the fund 
was to remain the property of the Water 


In its decision the Railroad Commission ad- 
dressed itself directly to practical conditions 
that could not be ignored.. The decision rep- 
resented a workable solution for the future 
water supply of San Francisco. It took for 
granted an attitude of co-operation between 
the City and the Company. The City and 
the Company entered upon the negotiations 
contemplated by the Commission. But the 
City found itself confronted with difficulties 
in the execution of the agreement that the 
Commission could not have foreseen. These 
difficulties proved to be of a substantial 
character. They were : 

First : The construction of a conduit from 
Niles to Irvington. 

Second: The payment of interest on the 
Hetch Hetchy bonds during the construction 
of the City's conduit. 

While the Company was not in any way 
obligated under the specific expressions of 
the Commission's decision to assume these 
liabilities, it naturally felt itself obligated to 
approach the problem in that spirit of co- 
operation upon which the decision of the 
Commission was based. The water supply of 

October, 192; 


,From this gate-house the release of Calaveras water is 
controlled. The entrance is pictured on the cover of this 
Issue. The Latin inscription "Lvmpha Optima" pro- 
claim that "Water Is Best" 

the City was at stake; therefore, the future 
of the Company, as well as of the City, was 
[at stake also. 

' The Company yielded to the representa- 
tions of the City and agreed to assume the 
cost of the Niles-Irvington pipe-line and to 
bay interest on the Hetch Hetchy bonds dur- 
ing the time of construction of the City's 

The City in turn agreed to continue the 
pfe of the arrangement for twelve years in- 
stead of ten, a modification which would en- 
able the Company to reimburse itself in the 
later years of the agreement for the large ad- 
ditional outlays imposed on it by the City 
during the first years. 

These modifications were embodied in a 
supplemental order made by the Railroad 
Commission in April of 1922. 

\ third supplemental order in February, 
[925, provided that if the annual deprecia- 
:ion fund of $300,000, which had to be 
iither invested in the property or held in 
rust in order to maintain the value of the 
Droperty, proved insufficient to supply ade- 
quate funds for new construction, then the 

Company, the City Engineer approving, 
could use such money as might be in the 
amortization fund over and above the fixed 
annual contribution, for the purpose of mak- 
ing capital expenditures. In the event that 
the City exercised its option to purchase 
Spring Valley, these capital expenditures 
were not to be added to the purchase price. 

Thus the Railroad Commission found for 
the City and the Company a common ground 
of understanding which assured adequate 
development and ample additional water 
supply for a period of twelve years at least. 

This arrangement has permitted Spring 
Valley to develop the supply progressively 
and logically during the six years that have 
passed — just one-half of the option period. 

It was only owing to an acceleration in 
City growth, and a consequent demand for 
more water that could not possibly have been 
foreseen, that further recourse had to be 
made to the Commission this year. 


The City and the Company proceeded with 
energy to carry out the program of develop- 
ment laid down by the Railroad Commission 
in August, 192 1. 

First in importance among the obligations 
assumed by Spring Valley was the raising 
of Calaveras Dam from an elevation of 680 
to an elevation of 775 feet. This provided a 
storage capacity of 32,800 million gallons 
of water, just about equal to the storage ca- 
pacity of all the Peninsula reservoirs com- 
bined. Calaveras impounds the run-off from 
one hundred square miles of watershed, and 
when the reservoir is full the area of the 
water surface will be over fourteen hundred 
acres. The daily productivity at present is 
38,200,000 gallons. 

The raising of Calaveras Dam, with the 
consequent increase of storage capacity, was 
completed in 1925. 

At the same time Spring Valley replaced 
the old Sunol Aqueduct, which traversed 
Niles Canyon from Sunol to Niles, with a 
new aqueduct of greatly increased capacity. 
The old aqueduct consisted of 14,600 feet 
of concrete-lined tunnel, having a carrying 
capacity of seventy million gallons daily, 
and 11,300 feet of redwood flume with a ca- 
pacity of twenty-one million gallons daily. 
The wooden-flume section was now replaced 
by an aqueduct of [Continued on page 13] 


October, 1927 

Cuddled in a fold of the hills near the town of Niles, this reservoir, dug deep in the cool clay, receives water fro 

the Sunol-Niles Aqueduct and releases it for the journey to Irvington, where it enters the Bay Division of tl 

Hetch Hetchy Conduit and crosses the Bay to Crystal Springs 

_ mu • ifTI fffHf 1 rlT f Ti^TlN ■' inmr-TT 

On this steel bridge constructed by the City of San Francisco the Bay Division of the Hetch Hetchy Conduit emerges 

from the Bay at Ravenswood in San Mateo County, paralleling the emergence of Spring Valley's own conduit. 

Through this Hetch Hetchy line Spring Valley water flows to Crystal Springs 

- ' • 

s\!.Y FRAXCISCO II". I ri-R 

i „ • ■■■■"■ ■ . -v ~bove Sunol Dam, all the 

artesian "'.^Pring Valley Water Company— from Calaveras, from the Si 
es,an we »s of Livermore Valley- " 

from the Alameda 

gravels, and from the 

measured by the delicate instruments of hydraulic engineers- 

JL^mbosomed in the hilts where the counties of /$L= 
meda and Janta C/arai meet/ Ca/avera.s Reservoir 
takes toll or a widespread domain rich in flowins 
waters. Jj. huge barrier (lun$ across a narrow sor$e 
imprisons here the swollen streams or winte^ sub= 
duing them to the service or <0an Francisco s 
water supply. 

The movins waters at their priestlike task 
Of pure ablution round earth's human she 
Or sazins on the new soft-fatten mask 
Of snow upon the mountains and the mac 



O) In old tradition transmitted by the h'rst mission* 
Aries makes the region or Ga/averas Keservoir an 
Ancient hunting-ground ana oattle=/ield or Indu 
tribes. Jn the pastoral days or x^atin occupath 
herds grazed Lazily under the sun that shines today 
on a great reservoir dedicated to metropolitan 
health and prosperity. 



Where stalled the hu 3 e deer to his shassy lair 
Throush paths and alleys roofed with darkest sreen; 
Thousands of years Before the silent air 
Was pierced by whizzin 3 shaft of hunter keen! 


Emerging and disappearing as it threads the winding gorge of Niles Canyon, a great white aqueduct 

that can carry seventy million gallons of water a day reminds us that, while utility is paramount, 

structural beauty is not necessarily ignored by those who build for the public weal 

October, 1927 



San Francisco Water ^ Report of Progress 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 

Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. VI. 

October, 1927 

No. 4 

w. e. creed: in tribute 

IN the passing of Wiggington E. Creed the 
West lost a great builder. Born and raised 
in California in a period when the state, he- 
cause of its great resources and great advances 
in population, was calling for men of strength, 
character, and vision to take leadership, Creed 

■ came forward as an inspiring leader. 

First, in the practice of law, he chose those 
opportunities that were constructive, and by his 
accomplishments rose to the forefront of the pro- 
fession. His great feeling for forward accom- 
plishments brought him into the public-utility 
field. Here, with fine courage and character, 

, he was always, on the one hand, the exponent of 
expanding and improving service to the public, 
and, on the other, fear less in commanding resped 
and fair treatment for the utility. Winning in 

, these principles, he early became a national 

\ figure. 

His ambition in building the West took on 
ever larger fields, and he became the founder of 
the iron and steel industry in the Pacific Coast 
states. In bringing into a working unit vast iron 
and coal mines in the Rocky Mountains, blast 
furnaces for the reduction of these metals, and 
great plants along the Pacific Coast for the 
fabrication of steel produds, Creed pioneered a 
great industry destined to build the West, and 
to serve it in cases of emergency as one of its 
greatest allies. 

He had a rare gift of friendship, and it was 
a privilege to know him as a friend, hut through 
the brilliance of his career nothing stands out in 
greater distinction and simplicity than his un- 
excelled example as the head of an American 

{Continued from page 3 ] reinforced concrete 
with a currying capacity equal to that of the 
original tunnels — namely, seventy million 
gallons daily. This project, which more than 
met the Company's obligation of bringing 
an additional twenty-four million gallons 
daily from its Alameda sources, was com- 
pleted in September, 1923. 

At the end of this new Sunol Aqueduct, 
Spring Valley constructed the Niles Reser- 
voir with a capacity of five million gallons. 
This structure was completed in 1025. From 
this reservoir to the neighborhood of the 
town of Irvington, where the Bay Division 
of the Hetch Hetchy line begins, Spring 
Valley constructed a steel pipe-line fort) - 
four inches in diameter, completing this de- 
ment of the new transmission facilities at the 
same time as the Niles Reservoir. 


Meantime the City of San Francisco, under 
the able direction of its City Engineer, M.M. 
O'Shaughnessy, proceeded to build the Bay 
Division of the Hetch Hetchy conduit. This 
big line, sixty inches in diameter, started at 
Irvington, entered San Francisco Bay as a 
forty-inch submarine line near Newark. 
emerged again as a sixty-inch line upon a 
steel bridge at Ravenswood, and continued 
thence toward the west, reaching Crystal 
Springs Reservoir through the Pulgas Tun- 
nel. Pumping facilities of thirty-four million 
gallons daily were installed at Ravenswood. 
Wherever necessary Spring Valley Water 
Company gave the City, without charge, a 
right of way for this Hetch Hetchy line. 

The last link in this Bay Division of the 
Hetch Hetchy conduit was completed in 
May, 1926, and it was immediately turned 
over to Spring Valley Water Company for 
use, the Company having already completed 
its work on the Calaveras Reservoir, the 
Niles Aqueduct, the Niles Reservoir, and 
the pipe-line from Niles to Irvington. There- 
upon water from the Calaveras Reservoir 
began flowing through the Spring Valley and 
City units, thus linked together, into Crystal 
Springs Reservoir, and has been so flowing 
ever since. 


s. p. eastman To increase the supply and improve the serv- 



The Hetch Hetchy line to Crystal Springs Reservoir tunnels the hills west of Redwood City, and the water, hidden 

from the light of day during all its long journey from Sunol, finally comes out of the Pulgas Tunnel to flow thus 

for a brief space before plunging into Crystal Springs Lake 

ice in San Francisco, Spring Valley Water 
Company, within the same period, executed 
several projects of the first importance. 

Having purchased a parcel of land on the 
northeast slope of Mt. Davidson, the Com- 
pany constructed there the Stanford Heights 
Reservoir with a capacity of five million gal- 
lons. The plans were so drawn that the res- 
ervoir could be doubled in size when the 
need arose. This foresight has been more 
than justified, for the need of doubling the 
capacity of Stanford Heights has come much 
earlier than was anticipated. Plans to this 
end are in the preliminary stage right now. 

Stanford Heights Reservoir supplies that 
part of the City formerly served from the 
distributing units of Clarendon Heights and 
Forest Hill. These sections are now served 
from the new reservoir by a twenty-four- 
inch riveted steel pipe two miles long. This 
work was completed early in 1924. 

The Stanford Heights development in- 

creased and improved the service in fast- 
growing residential sections. The commer- 
cial districts of the City were also expanding 
with unusual rapidity, and their water serv- 
ice called for betterment. These districts are 
served more particularly from the Univer- 
sity Mound distributing reservoir. It was 
found that the banks of this reservoir could 
be raised six feet, thereby increasing its 
storage capacity by about seventeen million 
gallons. When this work was completed the 
reservoir had a total capacity of fifty-nine 
million gallons of water. 

In 1926 Spring Valley installed a new 
pipe-line from the Laguna Honda distribut- 
ing reservoir across Golden Gate Park to 
the northern side of the City. The import- 
ance of this line will be understood from 
the statement that it has improved water 
service for forty per cent of the consumers, 
domestic, commercial, and industrial. 

A more recent improvement in the City 

;tober, 192; 



system was the building of a new tank at an 
elevation of 800 feet on Forest Hill, with a 
capacity of 400,000 gallons. This solves the 
acute problem of service in the highest sec- 
tion of our hilly city. 

Extension and enlargement of the City 
pipe system has proceeded continuously from 
August, 192 1, to the present day. During 
these six years the Company has laid new 
pipes in the distributing system totaling 
1 1 15.3 miles in length. 

The pressing necessity for this work may 
be gauged from the striking fact that between 
August 31, 1921, and August 31, 1927, a 
total of 25,967 active water-service connec- 
tions has been added to the system in San 
Francisco. Obviously, San Francisco has 
been growing very fast during these six 

Today Spring Valley has developed sixty- 
six million gallons of water — by no means 
the full potentialities of the Spring Valley 
system, but an abundance for present needs. 

The protracted dry spell that happily 
came to an end during the rainy season of 
1926 and 1927 caused the Company great 
anxiety, and the depleted storage at the 
water sources was supplemented by an 
emergency development of the Pleasanton 
artesian supply. During the long drought the 
Company constructed and equipped thirty 
new wells and rehabilitated eighteen more. 
This afforded an important measure of 

When the dry spell was definitely broken, 
reservoir replenishment, both at Calaveras 
and on the San Mateo Peninsula, came with 
a rush. There were times during the last 
rainy season when Spring Valley reservoirs 
impounded as high as a billion gallons of 
water during twenty-four hours of down- 
pour. When the rains were over the depleted 
reservoirs showed a total holding of more 
than thirty billion gallons of water. 


Spring Valley's record of achievement dur- 
ing the past six years is surely substantial. 
The Company has carried on its work of 
administering the water supply of a great 
city under difficulties that are admittedly 
great. Had not those public officers who 
oversee all public-utility activities in Cali- 
fornia decided, as they did in 192 1, that 
Spring Valley Water Company was entitled 

to an increase in rates, the program of con- 
struction and betterment would have been 
simply impossible. 

It is relevant to state here that during the 
War period practically every public utility 
in the State of California received a needed 
increase in rates, with one notable exception. 
That exception was Spring Valley Water 
Company, which operated until late in 192 1 
on a schedule of rates that had been put into 
effect seven years before. The Railroad Com- 
mission granted this long-deferred rate in- 
crease because it was necessary and just. 
Certain conditions were attached, and # the 
Company, as has been seen, consistently and 
scrupulously carried them out. But the rate 
increase was granted primarily because wa- 
ter rates in San Francisco had been inade- 
quate for a long time. 


The increase in rates granted in 192 1 be- 
came a matter of critical study in 1927. It is 
probable that a certain amount of confusion 
had arisen regarding the basis on which the 
rate increase had been grounded. The matter 
became acute when Spring Valley Water 
Company, exercising due vigilance on behalf 
of the water supply, pressed for permission 
to execute another project of the most urgent 

In the plans which this Company had 
drawn more than six years ago with ad- 
ministrative and engineering foresight, a 
large new pipe-line from San Andres Reser- 
voir in San Mateo County was included. At 
that time this pipe-line was not considered 
by public authority to be urgently necessary, 
and the project was not authorized when the 
big program of Calaveras and related de- 
velopments was started on its way. 

When the time came for Spring Valley to 
press for the immediate execution of this 
project, a temporary delay was caused by the 
fact that the City sought once more to pur- 
chase the Spring Valley properties. The 
election to authorize the necessary bond is- 
sue once more failed of a two-thirds ma- 
jority. Thereupon the Company impressed 
upon the authorities the urgency of starting 
the new San Andres program. 

Water consumption in San Francisco has 
increased in the last two or three years at an 
accelerated rate that could not have been 
foreseen six or eight years ago. There have 

16 SAN FRANCISCO WATER October, 1927 

been days during the past summer season 
when the consumption of water in the City 
has exceeded the maximum amount of water 
that Spring Valley can bring into the City in 
a given twenty-four hours. 

Spring Valley's pipe-lines from the San 
Mateo division and Lake Merced can supply 
fifty million gallons daily to the distributing 
reservoirs, and no more. The imperative 
necessity of providing a new pipe-line from 
San Andres was formulated by the Company 
in proceedings that began in the Board of 
Supervisors, and were later carried on before 
the Railroad Commission. 

In September of 1927 the Company was 
authorized by the Railroad Commission to 
build the San Andres line and to make certain 
important improvements in the distributing 
system which are bound to be reflected in 
improved service over a great part of San 
Francisco. The new San Andres line will be 
fifty-four inches in diameter, and will make 
it possible for Spring Valley to increase its 
water deliveries to San Francisco by thirty 
million gallons every day, raising daily de- 
liveries from fifty to eighty million gallons. 
Construction of this line began immediately 
after it was authorized, the schedule of 
intensive work calling for its completion 
before the hot season of next year. 

The Company was also authorized to 
double the capacity of the Stanford Heights 
distributing reservoir and to make other im- 
provements in its pumping and distributing 
system. As pointed out already, wise fore- 
sight was shown in designing Stanford 
Heights Reservoir, so that the work of in- 
creasing its capacity from five to ten million 
gallons is much simpler than it would be 

The problem that had to be solved pre- 
liminary to the authorization of this new 
program was that of financing the necessary 
capital expenditures within the limitations 
imposed by the option agreement between the 
City and the Company. That confusion of 
mind to which reference has been made led 
some authorities to believe that the full pur- 
pose of the rate increase of 192 1 had been 
accomplished and that rates should be re- 
stored to their former level. Study of the 
Railroad Commission's order of 192 1, and 
the supplemental orders that followed later, 
does not uphold this contention. Nor could 
the San Andres project and its allied im- 

provements have been initiated under a re- 
duced schedule of rates. A readjustment in 
the amortization fund solved the problem, 
the division on a fifty-fifty basis already 
explained being changed so that two-thirds 
instead of one-half will henceforward be 
devoted to these new capital expenditures. 
This latest decision of the Railroad Com- 
mission marks a forward step of the highest 
importance in the development of the water 
supply, and gives further evidence of the 
Railroad Commission's desire to co-operate 
in the solution of our difficult water prob- 
lems. The urgent necessity of an immediate 
start on the new construction program was 
recognized; a real emergency was met with 
promptitude. The result will be to promote 
the growth and prosperity of San Francisco 
by making it possible for Spring Valley to 
bring in from outside sources that additional 
water without which progress would be im- 

<JtfCo?itara ZHills 

By W. A. Brewer, Jr. 

[These stanzas breathe the atmosphere of Spring Valley's 
San Mateo County watershed. They were first published 
in the San Francisco Bulletin, April 4, 1925.] 

When I am done with city streets, 

And canyons walled with brick-built 
I'll find Montara's still retreats 

Among the redwoods and the flowers; 
When I am satiate with new, 

I'll go and seek the old, old thrills 
That wait all those who wander through 

The sleepy, blue Montara Hills ! 

The redwood armies mount the slope, 

Knee-deep in tangled underbrush ; 
Above dark lakes where fishes grope 

To where the span-wide rivers rush; 
The drunken bees go blundering by 

Blue cups that fragrant honey fills ; 
You long for these ? Then why not try 

The sleepy, blue Montara Hills ? 

Unwaked by gasoline or steam, 

Untroubled by the siren's shrieks, 
They still prolong the ancient dream 

They dreamed when Spaniards trod their 
peaks ; 
To those forespent with cash and change, 

But one retreat their hope fulfills; 
The old, unwaking redwood range — 

The sleepy, blue Montara Hills! 

Spring Valley W 

ater Company 


F. B. Anderson Benjamin Bangs W. B. Bourn 

S. P. Eastman Sidney M. Ehrman 

E. L. Eyre Robert G. Hooker 

Frank B. King 

E. J. McCutchen 

L. F. Monteagle Warren Olney, Jr. 

A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 


Chairman of the Board 

W. B. Bourn 

President S. P. Eastman 


John J. Sharon 

Vice-President a. h. Payson 

Assistant Secretary 

H. M. Kinsey 

Vice-President E. J. McCutchen 

Office Manager 

O. E. Clemens 

Vice-President g. a. Elliott 


Benjamin Bangs 


• AUDITOR John J. Sharon 
Assistant Auditor D. W. Cooper 

Manager, Water Sales 

0. E. Clemens 

Assistant Manager 

V. E. Perry 

Chief Engineer g. a. Elliott 
Assistant Chief Engineer T. W. Espy 
Office Engineer I. E. Flaa 

Supervisor, Consumers' Accounis 
Supervisor, Collections 
Manager, Docks and Shipping 

W. D. Ryder 

A. W. Till 
H. Templeman 

Superintendent, City 
Distribution George w. Pracy 

Assistant Superintendent O. G. Goldman 

Superintendent Agricultural 

Assistant Superintendent 

Assistant to Superintendent 

F. W. Roeding 

C. H. Schween 

Frank Peters 

Foreman, Service and Meter Joseph Kappeler 

Foreman, City Distribution J. J. Miley 

Director of Publicity 

Edward F. O'Day 

Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis 

Manager Real Estate 

Assistant Superintendent S. M. Millard 


Theodore J. Wilder 

Superintendent Alameda System a. W. Ebright 

Purchasing Agent 

J. H. Le Pla 




I met a traveller from an antique land 
Who said: Two vast and trunhjess legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. T^ear them on the sand 
Half sun\, a shatter d visage lies, whose frown 
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
Which yet survive, stamp' d on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mocl(d them and the heart that fed; 
And on the pedestal these words appear: 
'My name is Ozymandias, \ing of \ings: 
Loo\ on my wor\s, ye Mighty, and despair!" 
Toothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal wrec\, boundless and bare, 
The lone and level sands stretch far away. 

•an Francisco I^ter 


Spring Valley Water Company 


Volume VII 

January, 1928 

Number i 

Cjfather D\Qile 

By the Editor 

ARECENT number of San Francisco 
J~\. Water that was devoted to fountains 
jf world-wide fame bore upon its cover a 
picture of the magnificent fifteenth-century 
well-head designed by John of Bologna for 
the courtyard of the Bevilacqua Palace in his 
.native city. In this great work of art a col- 
umn supports a lion from whose mouth issues 
ia thin stream of water. The picture elicited 
a pleasant letter from the scholarly Frank P. 
Deering, of San Francisco, wherein was the 
following interesting paragraph : 

"Do you know why you so often see water 
gushing from the mouths of lions at foun- 
tains? The original is in Egypt. That coun- 
try, as you know, depends for its water sup- 
ply on the Nile. The annual overflow, more 
or less, of that river refreshing the soil, de- 
termines the prosperity of the farmers. The 
river rises and overflows when the constella- 
tion 'Leo' is at its height, and the supersti- 
tious inhabitants think that it is from the 
Lion's mouth that the abundance of the 
river comes." 

The lion's mouth, for fountain use, is 
world-wide. It is found in the excavated 
streets of Pompeii and in the very modern 
gardens of San Francisco. The explanation 
of its use, so kindly set forth by Mr. Deering, 
adds an item, small but significant, to the 
tremendous number of symbols that sprang 
in the remote past from Egypt and the Nile 
and that have permeated our civilization. 

Thinking of the Nile, one is almost over- 
whelmed by its importance in the annals of 
all races. It seems to flow, not merely through 
Egypt, but through our very consciousness. 
Great main streams of history are mingled 

with its waters. For all the thousands of 
years of which we have written or sculptured 
records it has exerted its profound influence 
upon mankind. The Nile is Egypt, and 
Egypt is the Nile. It is the Father of Waters, 
and its patriarchal sway is inextricably 
woven with the divine as well as the human 
impulses that have shaped the destiny of the 

The great Pharaohs who in their extraor- 
dinary dynastic pride made the valley of the 
Nile a wonderland of temples, palaces, and 
tombs, of pyramids and sphinxes, do not im- 
mediately touch our modern lives, however 
powerfully they affect our imaginations ; but 
think of all the other great men who tarried 
by this river in the execution of projects 
which set history in the grooves from which 
it has not yet deviated ! Joseph, Moses, Alex- 
ander the Great, Julius Caesar, Antony, 
Augustus Caesar, the great Mohammedan 
Caliphs, Napoleon — these are but a few of 
the famous who gazed at one time or another 
upon the broad bosom of the Nile and left 
the world different from what they found it. 
And in the recital of epochal events let us not 
forget that Flight into Egypt that saved the 
Child lesus from the murderous wrath of 

Considered as a water supply, surely the 
Nile may be placed in foremost position. 
"Qui aquam Nili bibit, rursus bibet" is the 
ancient saying that is inscribed today on 
Shepherd's Hotel in Cairo. The Moslems 
have borrowed the thought, for they say: 
"He who has once tasted the water of the 
Nile, longs for it inexpressibly forevermore." 
This, of course, is a good deal more than a 


January, 192 

"Father Nile," a Vatican masterpiece 

tribute to the taste of Nile water; it is a 
mystical tribute to the fascination that the 
river exerts upon the mind. Setting aside the 
marvelous function of irrigation that the 
Nile has performed since the birth of the 
world, consider the myriads who have drunk 
its waters through all the ages. The Nile has 
a waterway of about four thousand miles, 
and even the oases of the Sahara Desert are 
supplied by the infiltration of Nile water. 
And today, just as happened thousands of 
years ago, the water-boats ply up and down 
the river, laden with goatskins full of water 
to be delivered to the water-carriers at vari- 
ous settlements along the banks. This ever- 
present condition on the Nile is illustrated 
on the cover of San Francisco Water. 

Five hundred years before the beginning 
of the Christian era, Herodotus, "the father 
of history," paid a visit to Egypt, and in his 
fascinating pages there is much evidence of 
the deep impression that was made upon him 
by the Nile. "Having heard," he writes in 
one place, "that all the lands of Greece were 
watered by rain, and not by rivers, as their 
own was, they (the Egyptians) said that the 
Grecians at some time or other would be dis- 
appointed in their great expectations, and 
suffer miserably from famine; meaning that 
if the deity should not vouchsafe rain to 
them, but visit them with a long drought, the 
Greeks must perish by famine, since they 
had no other recourse for water except from 
Jupiter only." Let us supplement Herodotus 
from modern sources. 

"The Nile," writes John L. Stoddard, "is 
the artery of Egypt, upon whose regular pul- 
sations the existence of the land depends. 
The loam in the Egyptian Delta is that 
river's sediment, brought in solution from the 
heart of Africa. Thus Egypt is the gift oi 

"Between the fertile valley, thus created 
and renewed, and the adjoining desert a 
ceaseless warfare is waged — the old, eternal 
struggle between Life and Death. To the 
Egyptians this river represented the creative] 
principle, just as the desert symbolized de- 
struction. In the mythology of Egypt there is, 
a pretty fable, to the effect that the crystal 
springs of the Nile bubble up in the gardens 
of Paradise and serve for the ablutions of 
angels. Thence, wandering through lovely 
meadows, the infant stream finally expands 
into this lordly and majestic river, which 
offers life and plenty to the world. 

"Within the arches of the Vatican there 
now reclines in Oriental calm an ancient 
statue of old Father Nile, leaning upon a 
miniature sphinx ; while on its shoulders and 
around its limbs play sixteen pigmies, repre- 
senting the sixteen cubits of the annual rise 
of the river. Surely it is not strange that the 
old Egyptians deified the Nile, to whose life- 
bringing flood they owed not only their sus- 
tenance, but the very soil on which they 

To return to Herodotus, we learn from his 
pages that even the Oracle of Ammon paid 
testimony to the importance of the Nile. The 
oracle was appealed to by certain tribes that 

Where Antony sailed with Cleopatra 

January, 1928 


j resented being called Egyptians and sought 
divine support for their exclusiveness. But 
!the Oracle of Amnion declared "that all the 
country which the Nile irrigated was Egypt, 
and that all those were Egyptians who dwell 
below the city Elephantine, and drink of 
that river." 

In some sense this has always been true, 
even of those who did not "dwell below the 
jcity Elephantine." Pythagoras drank of Nile 
1 water, and its Egyptian qualities were re- 
! fleeted in his philosophy. Euclid drank, and 
enriched his mathematical mind with Egyp- 
jtian subtlety. Plato quaffed, and became a 
'greater Plato. Julius Caesar and Antony 
tasted Nile water as well as the head}* wine 
spilled in the palace of Cleopatra. Napoleon 
drank . . . but so did Nelson. 

One cannot think of Egypt without think- 
ing of the Nile. Egypt may be "the eldest 
Jborn of time," but it is also "the gift of the 
Nile." Let Frank G. Carpenter take up the 
story of this wonderful waterway : 

"This whole rainless country was 

' once a bed of sterile sand so bleak 

i and bare that not a blade of grass 

nor a shrub of cactus would grow 

I upon it. This mighty river, rising 

f in the heights of Africa and cutting 

( its way through rocks and hills, has 

brought down enough sediment to 

form the tillable area of Egypt. 

"South of Cairo, for nearly a 
thousand miles along its banks, 
! there extends a strip of rich black 
earth which is only from three to 
'. nine miles wide. Below the city the 
land spreads out in a delta shaped 
somewhat like the segment of a cir- 
cle, the radii of which jut out from 
Cairo, while the blue waters of the 
Mediterranean edge its arc. This 
narrow strip and fan form the ara- 
ble land of Egypt. The soil is no- 
where more than thirty-five feet 
I deep. It rests on a bed of sand. On 
each side of it are vast wastes of 
■ sand and rock, with not a spot of 
: green to relieve the ceaseless glare 
j of the sun. The green goes close to 
the edge of the desert, where it stops 
' as abruptly as though it were cut 
off by a gardener. Nearly every- 
where up the Nile from Cairo the 
. strip is so narrow that you can 

stand at one side of the valley and see clear 
across it. 

"Thus in one sense Egypt is the leanest 
country in the world, but it is the fattesl in 
the quality of the food that nature gives it. 
Through the ages it has had one big meal 
every year. At the inundation of the Nile, 
for several months the waters spread over the 
land and were allowed to stand there until 
they dropped the rich, black fertilizing sedi- 
ment brought down from the African moun- 
tains. This sediment has produced from two 
to three crops a year for Egypt through the 
centuries and for a long time was the sole 
manure that the land had. The hundreds of 
thousands of cattle, donkeys, camels, and 
sheep that feed off the soil give nothing back 
to it, for their droppings are gathered up, 
and dried for use as fuel. Recently the use of 
artificial fertilizers has been encouraged with 
excellent results. 

"The irrigation of Egypt is now con- 

sluice-gates of Assouan Dam are closed the Nile partially 
submerges the beautiful ruins of Phils 


January, 1928 

ducted on scientific 
lines. The water is 
not allowed to spread 
over the country as 
it was years ago, but 
the arable area is cut 
up by canals, and 
there are immense 
irrigating works in 
the delta, to manage 
which during the in- 
undation hundreds 
of thousands of men 
are required. Just at 
the point of the delta, 
about twelve miles 
above Cairo, is a 
great dam, or bar- 
rage, that raises the 
waters of the Nile 
into a vast canal 
from which they flow 
over the fanlike ter- 
ritory of Lower 

"All through Egypt 
one sees men scoop- 
ing the water up in 
baskets from one 
level to another, and 
everywhere he finds 
the buffalo, the cam- 
el, or donkey turn- 
ing the wheels that 
operate the crude 
apparatus for getting 
the water out of the 
river and onto the 

It remained for 
the engineers of to- 
day to harness the Nile, to teach it how to 
flow, to defeat its weakness (for this mighty 
river can be weak when its sources are not 
adequately replenished), and to do away 
with those alternations of fat years and lean 
that we have associated with the Nile ever 
since we first spelled out the immortal story 
of Joseph and his brethren. 

In the heart of the desert, seven hundred 
miles south of the Mediterranean, at the first 
cataract of the Nile, is the Assouan Dam 
that British engineers built to harness the 
Nile and free Egypt from the possibility of 

"The volume of the Nile," says Frank G. 
Carpenter, "is enormous. At flood times, a 
billion tons of water go by at Assouan every 
day. The river then rises twenty-five feet at 
Cairo, thirty-eight at Old Thebes, and al- 
most fifty feet at the first cataract. There is 
so much water that no dam could hold it, 
hence all of these great works had to be made 
so that the water can be let in and out and 
allowed to pass through at will. 

"It is at flood time that the Nile valley 
gets its rich feed of Abyssinian mud. This 
is brought down in part by the Blue Nile, 
but more abundantly by the Atbara, or Black 

January, 1928 


The carriers set out to bring Nile water to the consumer 

Nile. It is carried by the inundation all over 
Egypt and by means of irrigation conducted 
to nearly every farm. After the floods subside 
the muddy waters grow clear again. The 
Blue Nile and the Black Nile become almost 
dry, and the white water of the main, or 
Victoria, Nile is about all that Egypt has. 
It is this white water that is stored up by 
the Assouan Dam, and it feeds the country 
in much the same way as our irrigation ca- 
nals do, with water only and not with a thick 
mixture of water and mud as in the times of 

"For thousands of years these rivers have 

been pouring down 
through this Nile 
valley ; but when- 
ever the rains have 
been scanty in the 
highlands of Abys- 
sinia and in Central 
Africa the main 
stream has not been 
high enough to reach 
the whole country. 
Most of the lands 
could be inundated 
only once a year, 
and if the Nile was 
especially low some 
could have no water 
at all. By the present 
system Egypt has 
water all the year 
round, and enough 
to make it produce 
two or three crops 
every twelve months. " 
For the engineer- 
ing features of this 
great structure our 
authority is James 
D. Schuyler, who 
gives these particu- 
lars in his Reservoirs 
for Irrigation, Water 
Power, and Domes- 
tic Water Supply: 

"The Assouan Dam 
. . . creates a reser- 
voir with a capacity 
of 863,000 acre- feet, 
its effect extending 
back up the river a 
distance of 140 
miles, estimating its surface slope at 
1 132,000. It will thus cover an area of over 
40,000 acres, a large portion of which is not 
over 1000 feet wide. 

"The dam which was begun in 1898 and 
completed in June, 1902, is of vast propor- 
tions, being 6400 feet in length, with a 
maximum height of 130 feet above the lowest 
foundations and containing 704,000 cubic 
yards of masonry. 

"The maximum depth of water in the res- 
ervoir available for draft is about 60.8 feet 
at the dam. The elevation of high-water level 
in the reservoir is 348 feet above mean tide. 


January, [92I 

"The dam is divided into two sections, one 
of which extends from the east bank for 1800 
feet as a solid masonry wall without open- 
ings, while the remaining portion of 4600 
feet, containing 180 sluiceways, reaches to 
the west bank, and includes a navigation 
lock on that side. 

"The sluiceways are designed to carry the 
entire volume of the river at flood, without 
permitting the water to reach higher than 
within 9.8 feet of the top of the dam. 

"The width of crest of the eastern solid 
section is 17.8 feet, while the portion in 
which the sluiceways are built is 23 feet 
wide on top, carrying a roadway entirely 
across the dam. 

"The sluiceways are in four levels, 140 of 
them on the two lower levels, each being 
seven meters high by two meters wide, while 
the upper banks of 40 sluices are each two 
meters wide by 3.5 meters high. 

"The total discharging area thus pro- 
vided, with all sluice-gates open, is 24,100 
square feet. The maximum recorded dis- 
charge of the river was 494,500 second-feet 

"The sluices mostly are in groups of ten, 
with spaces of five meters of solid masonry 
between individual sluices, and 10 meters 
between two adjoining groups, where but- 
tresses 26 feet wide, 3.8 feet thick, are built 
on each face at intervals of 240 feet. 

"The openings or outlets being arranged 
at varying heights, the reservoir may be 
drawn from near the top, without excessive 
head or friction to resist the opening of the 
gates. Sixty-five of them are placed near the 
bottom of the dam, with sills 70.7 feet below 
the floor of the roadway on top, of which 
forty are lined with plates of cast-iron, i J / 2 
inches thick, having flanges or ribs em- 
bedded in the masonry, 12 inches deep, by 
which the plates are bolted together. Seventy- 
five sluices are placed at the next higher 
level, 55.8 feet below the crest, and of these 
one-third are provided with balanced gates 
of the Stoney roller type, easily operated 
under full pressure, if desired. Of the re- 
maining sluices 18 are placed with sills 42.7 
feet below the top of the dam, and 22 are 
29.7 feet below the roadway level. 

"The navigation pass around the dam con- 
sists of a canal, partly excavated in rock and 
partly in embankment with four locks, 
making a total descent of 68.9 feet. The canal 

is 654 feet long, 49.2 feet wide on the base. 

"The dam is founded on a ledge of granite 
of very irregular surface, one narrow chan- 
nel requiring a maximum height of 130 feet, 
but the average height is about 82 feet. The 
base width is about 85 feet. The down- 
stream batter is 1:1.5, while that on the up- 
stream face is 1:18. 

"The dam consists of rubble masonry laid 
in 1.4 cement mortar. It was said to be en- 
tirely water-tight when completed. The total 
excavation required was 824,000 cubic yards 
or double the estimate. This increased the 
masonry by 45 per cent over what was an- 
ticipated, so that the final cost of the dam 
reached the sum of £2,450,000 ($11,907,- 
000), or $13.80 per acre-foot of storage ca- 

"The plans for the dam were prepared 
originally by Sir William Wilcocks, M. Inst. 
C. E., and executed by Frederick W. S. 
Stokes, M. Inst. C. E., and his successor, 
C. R. May, M. Inst. C. E. Sir Benjamin 
Baker, M. Inst. C. E., acted as consulting en- 
gineer for the Egyptian Government. The 
contractors were Sir John Aird & Co. 

"The original plans first proposed would 
have raised the water to such a height as 
would have inundated the ancient temple of 
Philae, situated a mile above the dam on an 
island. Out of deference to public protest 
against the destruction of this archaeological 
monument, the plans were modified so as to 
limit the flood level to the floor of the tem- 
ple. In order to protect the portions of the 
temple resting on silt a great deal of work 
in underpinning was performed." 

Gauges to register the rise of Nile water are 
placed at Cairo, Assouan, Berber, and Khar- 
toum; but these devices, while installed in 
the best technique of modern science, repre- 
sent nothing new in the life of Father Nile. 
The inscriptions carry back the story of the 
first Nilometer 2500 years before the begin- 
ning of the Christian era. And of course it 
may have antedated the earliest inscription 
thus far uncovered. The most famous of 
Nilometers is on the island of Elephantine 
at Assouan. It was built of hewn stones, 
marked with scales to record the level of the 
water. Dating from very ancient Egyptian 
times, it was improved during the Roman 
domination, and was repaired in 1870 by 
the Khedive Ismail. There are other famous 
Nilometers. One on the quay wall of the 

January, 1928 



temple of Karnak records forty high Niles 
in the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. 

Does it not seem futile, this attempt to 
bridle the Nile with words? The Nile was 
flowing serenely before the first Egyptian 
monuments — pyramids, temples, Nilometers 
— were thought of, and it flows just as se- 
renely today past the mockery of Ozyman- 
jdias and Tut-Ankhamen. The Nile is a uni- 
iversal symbol. "Shall you not feel reverence 
jfor the Nile, the mixing bowl of Egypt?" 
demanded Apollonius of Tyana when the 
Christian era was new. And when the Em- 

peror Vespasian wished to impress upon his 
doubtful Egyptian subjects the beneficence 
of his rule, he told them, "You shall draw 
as liberally upon me as vou do upon the 

During the reign of Augustus Caesar, the 
great geographer Strabo set out upon his 
travels, note-book ever in hand. Judging 
from his work, no place that he visited im- 
pressed him more than the valley of the Nile. 
He was, doubtless, as keenly responsive to 
its allure as Herodotus had been hundreds 
of years before. But [Concluded on page 16] 


ig to the seasonal needs of the 


January, 1928 • 

Two 'Poems on Water 

^By Robert Southey 

ON" the following pages are given two of 
the most famous English poems ever 
written on the subject of water, and, strangely 
enough, both were written by Robert Southey. 

"The Well of St. Keyne" was written in 
1798; "The Cataract of Lodore" in 1820, 
when Southey was Poet Laureate. Both were 
in the nature of jeux d'esprit, and Southey 
did not value them highly. He felt sure that 
his fame as a poet would be perpetuated by 
such epic and narrative poems as "Joan of 
Arc," "Thalaba," and "The Curse of Ke- 
hama," not by the simple little effusions that 
he dashed off for the amusement of his chil- 
dren. It is probable that not more than a 
dozen living persons have waded through the 
pretentious poems upon which he staked his 
claim to immortality. But "The Cataract of 
Lodore" and "The Well of St. Keyne," to- 
gether with "Mary, the Maid of the Inn," 
"The Inchcape Rock," and "The Battle of 
Blenheim" ("It was a famous victory"), were 
all in the school readers when those of us 
who are forty or over were children, and it is 
safe to say that when we turn again to those 
well-thumbed old readers, these are among 
the first pieces that we read. 

Robert Southey was born near Bristol, in 
1774, and was educated at Westminster 
School and Oxford. He studied law for a 
while in London; but literature drew him 
irresistibly, and eventually he settled at Kes- 
wick in the English Lake Country, where he 
enjoyed the companionship of Wordsworth 
and Coleridge and where he died in 1843 
after having produced an enormous amount 
of good work in prose and verse. 

Like the great bulk of his poetry, his prose 
is now unread, the exceptions being his lives 
of Nelson and Wesley. It used to be said of 
the former biography that it did more to re- 
cruit young men for the English Navy than 
all other influences combined. 

When the great McGuffey and his imita- 
tors placed "The Cataract of Lodore" in the 
school readers, they were actuated princi- 
pally by the thought of supplying children 
with an exercise in enunciation. Many a 
youngster came to grief over the poem and 
was reprimanded by Teacher for slighting 

that formidable array of final g's. As for the 
unfortunate child with an impediment of 
speech, the poem took on the semblance of a 
nightmare. But the majority of the pupils in 
any class were sure to like "Lodore." It was 
good fun, and some of the strange rhymes 
invariably provoked merry laughter. 

It is worth while noting here that "The 
Cataract of Lodore" was a lifelong favorite 
with the late Mayor Edward Robeson Tay- 
lor, of San Francisco, who was not only a 
poet but an omnivorous reader of poetry. 

Robert Southey was always delving in 
ancient and forgotten books. In an old folio 
of Thomas Fuller's he came across this pas- 
sage: "I know not whether it be worth the re- 
porting, that there is in Cornwall, near the 
parish of St. Neots, a well, arched over with 
the robes of four kinds of trees, — withy, oak, 
elm, and ash, — dedicated to St. Keyne. The 
reported virtue of the water is this, that, 
whether husband or wife come first to drink 
thereof, they get the mastery thereby." 

This naive legend inspired Southey to 
write "The Well of St. Keyne," but so effec- 
tive is the original twist he gave to the end 
of the story that the poem becomes a bit of 
quite sophisticated humor. Wives are apt to 
appreciate it more than husbands, provided 
they admit the right of a poet to joke on 
so serious a subject as domestic mastery. 
Husbands usually exhibit a wry face when 
they come to the last line. Some have won- 
dered privately whether there is not a well 
of St. Keyne in their own neighborhood, 
known only to women and revealed to brides 
by their elders as part of that freemasonry 
said to nourish among all members of the 
weaker sex. 

But this is treading on dangerous ground. 
The "St. Keyne," like the "Lodore," is pre- 
sented here as a celebration of water, not to 
feed the flames of connubial controversy. It 
would be unfortunate indeed if water, as 
such, were permitted to become a subject of 
contention between husbands and wives. The 
faucet has not yet descended to the level of 
the rolling-pin. A Lake Poet like Southey 
would be shocked if his pleasant little jeu 
d'esprit became a poisoned spring. 

January, 1928 


The (sjataraffi of £odore 

"How does the Water 

Come down at Lodore?" 

My little boy asked me 

Thus once on a time; 

And moreover he tasked me 

To tell him in rhyme. 

Anon, at the word, 

There first came one daughter, 

And then came another, 

To second and third 

The request of their brother, 

And to hear how the Water 

Comes down at Lodore, 

With its rush and its roar, 

As many a time 

They had seen it before. 

So I told them in rhyme, 

For of rhymes I had store; 

And 'twas in my vocation 

For their recreation 

That so I should sing, 

Because I was Laureate 

To them and the King. 

From its sources which well 

In the Tarn on the fell; 

From its fountains 

In the mountains, 

Its rills and its gills, — 

Through moss and through brake 

It runs and it creeps 

For awhile, till it sleeps 

In its own little Lake. 

And thence at departing, 

Awakening and starting, 

It runs through the reeds, 

And away it proceeds 
Through meadow and glade, 

In sun and in shade, 

And through the wood-shelter, 

Among crags in its flurry, 


Hurry -skurry. 

Here it comes sparkling, 

And there it lies darkling; 

Now smoking and frothing 

Its tumult and wrath in, 

Till, in this rapid race 

On which it is bent, 

It reaches the place 

Of its steep descent. 

The Cataract strong 

Then plunges along, 

Striking and raging, 

As if a war waging 

Its caverns and rocks among; 

Rising and leaping, 

Sinking and creeping, 

Swelling and sweeping, 

Showering and springing, 

Flying and flinging, 

Writhing and ringing, 

Eddying and whisking, 

Spouting and frisking, 

Turning and twisting, 

Around and around 

With endless rebound! 

Smiting and fighting, 

A sight to delight in; 

Co nfo u nding, as to u nding, 

Dizzying and deafening 

the ear with its sound. 

10 SAN FRANCISCO WATER January, 1928 

Collecting, projecting, And running and stunning, 

Receding and speeding, And foaming and roaming, 

And shocking and rocking, And dinning and spinning, 

And darting and parting, And dropping and hopping, 

And threading and spreading, And working and jerking, 

And whizzing and hissing, And guggling and struggling, 

And dripping and skipping, And heaving and cleaving, 

And hitting and splitting, And moaning and groaning; 
And shining and twining, 

And rattling and battling, And glittering and frittering, 

And shaking and quaking, And gathering and feathering, 

And pouring and roaring, And whitening and brightening, 

And waving and raving, And quivering and shivering, 

And tossing and crossing, And hurrying and skurrying, 

And flowing and going, And thundering and floundering; 

Dividing and gliding and sliding, 

And falling and brawling and sprawling, 

And driving and riving and striving, 

And sprinkling and twinkling and wrinkling, 

And sounding and bounding and rounding, 

And bubbling and troubling and doubling, 

And grumbling and rumbling and tumbling, 

And clattering and battering and shattering; 

Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting, 
Delaying and straying and playing and spraying, 
Advancing and prancing and glancing and dancing, 
Recoiling, turmoiling and toiling and boiling, 
And gleaming and streaming and steaming and beaming, 
And rushing and flushing and brushing and gushing, 
And flapping and rapping and clapping and slapping, 
And curling and whirling and purling and twirling, 
And thumping and plumping and bumping and jumping, 
And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing; 
And so never ending, but always descending, 
Sounds and motions for ever and ever are blending, 
All at once and all o'er, with a mighty uproar; 
And this way the Water comes down at Lodore. 

January, 1928 



The Well of St. Kjyne 

A Well there is in the west country, 
And a clearer one never was seen; 
"There is not a wife in the west 
But has heard of the Well of 
St. Keyne, 

An oak and an elm tree stand beside, 
And behind doth an ash-tree grow, 

And a willow from the bank above 
Droops to the water below. 

A traveller came to the Well of 
St. Keyne; 
Joyfully he drew nigh; 
For from cock-crow he had been 
And there was not a cloud in 
the sky. 

He drank of the water so cool and 
For thirsty and hot was he; 

IAnd he sat down upon the bank, 
Under the willow-tree. 

There came a man from the house 
hard by, 

At the Well to fill his pail; 
On the Well-side he rested it, 

And he bade the Stranger hail. 

"Now, art thou a bachelor, Stran- 
ger?" quoth he; 
"For, an if thou hast a wife, 
The happiest draught thou hast 
drank this day 
That ever thou didst in thy life. 

"Or has thy good woman, if one 
thou hast, 
Ever here in Cornwall been? 

For, an if she have, Fll venture 
my life 
She has drank of the Well of 
St. Keyne." 

"I have left a good woman who 

never was here," 

The Stranger he made reply; 

"But that my draught should be 

the better for that, 

I pray you answer me why." 

"St. Keyne" quoth the Cornish- 
man, "many a time 

Drank of this crystal Well; 
And, before the angel summoned her, 

She laid on the water a spell, — 

"If the Husband, of this gifted Well 
Shall drink before his wife, 

A happy man thenceforth is he, 
For he shall be Master for life; — 

"But, if the Wife should drink of 
it first, 
God help the Husband then!" — 
The Stranger stooped to the Well of 
St. Keyne, 
And dra?ik of the water again. 

"You drank of the Well, I warrant, 
He to the Cornish-man said; 
But the Cornish-man smiled as the 
Stranger spake, 
And sheepishly shook his head: — 

"/ hastened, as soon as the wedding 
was done, 
And left my Wife in the porch; 
But i' faith she had been wiser 
than me, 
For she took a bottle to church." 



January, 1928 

San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 

Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. VII. 

January, 1928 

No. 1 


AS the year 1927 drew to a close, every 
±\. man and woman in the employ of 
Spring Valley Water Company was sad- 
dened by the death of O. E. Clemens, Man- 
ager of the Water Sales Department and 
Office Manager. 

Mr. Clemens passed away in this city on 
November 19, 1927. His illness had been 
protracted; toward the end the outcome was 
known to be inevitable; but his death 
brought a shock to the associates who for 
nearly ten years had been used to seeing him 
the picture of health and vigorous activity. 
It was difficult to apprehend that so vital a 
personality had gone. 

Before joining Spring Valley Water Com- 
pany, Mr. Clemens had earned a splendid 
executive reputation under William Mulhol- 

land during the construction of the Los An- 
geles-Owens River Aqueduct. 

His task with Spring Valley was to reor- 
ganize the Water Sales Department to meet j 
the requirements of a radical change in the 
Company's relations with domestic consum- 
ers. These had been paying for water on a 
flat-rate basis, and the universal metering of 
the city, together with the adoption of a new 
and scientific form of billing, created prob- 
lems that called for diplomacy, patience, and 
understanding as well as a special technical 

Mr. Clemens proved the ideal man for this 
undertaking. Upon public authorities, upon 
consumers in all walks of life, and upon the 
men and women who worked with him or 
directly under him, his personality, his abil- 
ity, his just and kindly attitude made a very 
deep impression. 

But it would be inadequate to appraise 
O. E. Clemens solely in terms of his work. 
One does not live, nor is one remembered, by 
efficiency alone. While the splendid qualities 
that distinguished a man's workaday hours 
are recalled as part of his essential character, 
the human attributes that made that man be- 
loved stand out in strong relief, and are 
recognized as the mainsprings of all that he 
did, of all that he meant to his associates. So 
it was with O. E. Clemens. Himself a man 
of disciplined ways, he was too fine of un- 
derstanding not to find common ground with 
those who needed the helping hand across an 
unsafe path. His sympathy was a tested and 
proven trait. 

The sentiments of the Board of Directors 
were expressed in the following resolutions: 

Whereas, O. E. Clemens, Office Manager and 
Manager of the Water Sales Department of Spring 
Valley Water Company, departed this life on the 
nineteenth day of November, 1927 ; and 

Whereas, O. E. Clemens had been in the serv- 
ice of Spring Valley Water Company for ten years; 

Whereas, The members of the Board of Di- 
rectors of Spring Valley Water Company share 
with all of Mr. Clemens' Spring Valley colleagues 
a profound sense of sorrow for his untimely pass- 
ing; now therefore be it 

Resolved, That we recognize in O. E. Clemens 
an executive who served this Company with ability 
and fidelity; and be it further 

Resolved, That this board spread upon the min- 
utes of its meeting these resolutions in memory 
of O. E. Clemens, inspired by admiration of his 
character, respect for his ability, and sympathy for 
his bereaved family. 

January, 1928 



In the Qay 3\Qineties 


HESE views of Clarke's Water Works 
are dedicated to our greatest living 
statesman, — the man whose brain conceived 
the idea of a Pan-American Congress, the 
man to whom more than to any other single 
person the republic of Brazil owes her free- 
dom from the invading fleets of foreign 
despots, the pathfinder of peace, progress 
and civilization, our honored fellow-citizen, 
James G. Blaine. * 

"From the Pacific to the Atlantic sounds 
ithe glorious sentiment uttered by Stanley 
Mathews, 'a government of laws and not of 
men/ and the Children of Freedom rejoice 
around their Queen as she marches grandly 
down the aisles of time, guarded and led by 
our great statesman." 

Dr. A. T. Leonard, Jr., of San Francisco, 
is an assiduous and learned collector of Cali- 
forniana, and more particularly of books, 
ipamphlets, and pictures relating to his native 
city. Not long ago, in one of those unlikely- 
looking emporia of second-hand furniture 
that the wise collector never overlooks, Dr. 
Leonard found an album of curious photo- 
graphs. The opening page contained the 
dedication quoted above, and the signature 
that rounded out the two oratorical para- 
graphs informed Dr. Leonard that he had 
stumbled upon what was, perhaps, the sole 
remaining record of an enterprise known to 
many San Franciscans "in the gay nineties" 
as "Nobby Clarke's Water Works." For the 
dedication was signed by Alfred Clarke. It 
had been penned on Decoration Day, 1891. 

Alfred Clarke, known familiarly as 
"Nobby," was a man of some means who 
owned property on the eastern slope of Twin 
Peaks. He built his home, in the awful archi- 
tecture of the nineties, at Douglass Street 
and Casselli Avenue. He built a Twin Peaks 
water-works system after a quarrel with his 
neighbor Behrend Joost, who was already in 
the water business and whose terms of serv- 
ice failed to satisfy the newcomer. More than 
one water-works system has been so initiated. 

Through the kindness of Dr. Leonard 
some of the pictures recording this forgotten 
enterprise are reproduced in this issue. The 
system included the Nellie Dam and the 
Nellie Reservoir, Lake Lincoln and Lincoln 
Dam, flumes, the Blaine Pumps and the 

Alfred Clarke. 

guests respectfully aloof, proudly 
his water system 

Blaine Tanks. The lakes were scarcely lakes, 
however, and the dams were extremely primi- 
tive affairs. Moreover, it is doubtful whether 
"the Plumed Knight" would have greatly 
appreciated the application of his name to 
such humble installations. 

The personnel of this hydraulic project 
cannot have been large. As for executive di- 
rection, it was all concentrated in "Nobby" 
Clarke. He was president, chief engineer, 
head of the entertainment committee ( for he 
gave picnics), and doubtless bill-collector. 

The Clarke residence still stands in all its 
horrific architectural pretensions. But of the 
water works, alas ! no vestige remains. They 
are one with the glory that was Greece and 
the grandeur that was Rome. The enterprise 
was blighted at the start because President 
Harrison, on his visit to San Francisco, re- 
fused to preside at the dedicatory ceremonies. 



January, 192 

Lake Lincoln of the Clarke water system is shown above, while below is Nellie Dam, with 

Mr. Clarke acting as host to a picnic party. The Nellie after whom the dam 

was named may be among those present 



The circular structure in the upper picture Mr. Clarke described as "the large brick reservoir.' 

Below is the Clarke home, at Douglass Street and Caselli Avenue. The hose is 

being played to demonstrate water pressure 



January, 192 

Cjfather U^Qle 

[Continued from page 7] Strabo had more of 
the scientist in him than "the father of his- 
tory," and for him the Nile and the Nile 
country dwarfed the human achievement as- 
sociated with them. He went to Egypt on the 
heels of great events, of catastrophes that 
shook the world and changed the course of 
civilization. But for Strabo the Nile was so 
much more important than the human factors 
of Nilotic history that he was capable of 
compressing into four prosaic paragraphs one 
of the greatest romances of all time. Hearken 
to Strabo: 

"Ptolemy, on being restored by Gabinus, 
put to death both Archelaus and his daugh- 
ter; but not long after he was reinstated in 
his kingdom, he died a natural death, leav- 
ing two sons and two daughters, the eldest 
of whom was Cleopatra. 

"The Alexandrines declared as sovereigns 
the eldest son of Cleopatra. But the adher- 
ents of the son excited a sedition, and ban- 
ished Cleopatra, who retired with her sister 
into Syria. 

"It was about this time that Pompey the 
Great, in his flight from Palae-pharsalus, 
came to Pelusium and Mount Casium. He 
was treacherously slain by the king's party. 
When Caesar arrived, he put the young 
prince to death, and sending for Cleopatra 
from her place of exile, appointed her 
queen of Egypt, declaring also her surviving 
brother, who was very young, and herself, 
joint sovereigns. 

"After the death of Caesar and the battle 
at Pharsalia, Antony passed over into Asia; 
he raised Cleopatra to the highest dignity, 
made her his wife, and had children by her. 
He was present with her at the battle of Ac- 
tium, and accompanied her in her flight. 
Augustus Caesar pursued them, put an end 
to their power, and rescued Egypt from mis- 
government and revelry." 

A facile criticism would say that Strabo 
was unimaginative, thus coldly to dispose of 
the epochal situation that enmeshed in the 
toils of Cleopatra the great Pompey and the 
triumvir Antony, while profoundly affecting 
the careers of Julius Caesar and Augustus. 

But it is a facile and a superficial criti- 
cism. Strabo saw the Nile as we must view 
it — he saw it as the sculptor of the Vatican 
masterpiece interpreted it. To him it was 

Father Nile, and he was a little impatient 
of the human pigmies that wet their destinies 
in its tremendous flood. 

Strabo could count the centuries as well as 
we. There were antique ruins beside the Nile 
in his far-off day. In Strabo's time as now, 
"Round the decay of those colossal wrecks, 
boundless and bare, the lone and level sands 
stretched far away." 

What to him were Antony and Cleopatra ! 
Just a moment of meaningless revelry in 
the life of Father Nile. 

In zApril, ICJ06 

In the last installment General Funston's 
account of his work as military Commandant 
at San Francisco was carried as far as the 
second day of the fire. 

At that time the problem of the water sup- 
ply had become serious; and it was feared 
that if. the supply could not be promptly 
restored a water famine would ensue, and 
the health of the refugees be endangered. 
How the Spring Valley Water Company, 
and its engineer, the late Mr. Hermann 
Schussler, rose to the occasion, as well as 
other matters pertaining to the relief of the 
refugees, is described in the concluding part 
of General Funston's account, which follows: 

I learned unofficially on the afternoon of the 18th that 
the Spring Valley Water Company was most energetically 
repairing its great water mains and that they hoped in a 
day or two to bring within the city a small amount of 
water through their regular mains. I was glad to learn 
on the 20th that my unofficial report was confirmed by 
the statement of Mr. Schussler, chief engineer of the 
Spring Valley Water Company, to the effect that he hoped 

to be able to deliver in the city the next day io.imi. 

gallons of water and thereafter probably that amount 
each day until, finally, the system would be completely 
restored. It was most fortunate, indeed that this gentle- 
man was in the city, as he had planned and supervised 
the construction of all the larger mains and was able to 
locate them from memory alone, as all the charts had 
been destroyed in the conflagration. It was from his 
intimate knowledge, also, that he was able to send me- 
chanics immediately to the various streets from which 
branch the side lines into the burned district, and thus 
stop the waste of water, which must inevitably have 
resulted had these pipes not been closed. 

The offices of the Spring Valley Water 
Company at 126 Stockton Street, between 
O'Farrell and Geary streets, were destroyed 
on April 18, and with them all the maps and 
plans showing the mains and pipes of the 
entire system. General Funston's eulogy of 
the late Mr. Schussler was re-echoed from 
many sources. But for the fact that he car- 
ried a mind's-eye plan of the water system 
under his hat, the plight of San Francisco 
would have been exacerbated by the lack of 
water for drinking purposes. — S.F. Argonaut. 

Spring Valley W 

ater Company 


F. B. Anderson Benjamin Bangs W. B. Bourn 

S. P. Eastman Sidney M. Ehrman 

E. L. Eyre Robert G. Hooker 

Frank B. King 

E. J. McCutchen 

L. F. Monteagle Warren Olney, Jr. 

A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 


Chairman of the Board w. b. Bourn 

Vice-President g. a. Elliott 

President S. p. Eastman 

SECRETARY John J. Sharon 

Vice-President a. h. Payson 

Assistant Secretary h. m. Kinsey 

Vice-President E. J. McCutchen 

TREASURER Benjamin Bangs 


AUDITOR John J. Sharon 
Assistant Auditor D. W. Cooper 

Water Sales 

Assistant Manager V. E. Perry 

Chief Engineer g. a. Elliott 
Assistant Chief Engineer T. W. Espy 
Office Engineer I. E. Flaa 

Supervisor, Consumers' Accounis W. D. Ryder 
Supervisor, Collections A. W. Till 
Manager, Docks and Shipping H. Templeman 

Superintendent, City 

Superintendent Agricultural 
Department f. W. Roeding 

Distribution George W. Pracy 

Assistant Superintendent C H. Schween 

Assistant Superintendent 0. G. Goldman 

Assistant to Superintendent Frank Peters 

Foreman, Service and Meter Joseph Kappeler 

Foreman, City Distribution J. J. Miley 

Director of Publicity Edward F. O'Day 

Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis 
Assistant Superintendent S. M. Millard 

Manager Real Estate 

Department Theodore J. Wilder 

Superintendent Alameda System a. W. Ebright 

Purchasing Agent J. H. Le Pla 




'AN Francisco I^ter 


Spring Valley Water Company 



A PRIL, I928 


Abundant Water for Qivic Prosperity 

By T. W. Espy and George W. Pracy 

THE Spring Valley "Water Company is 
actively engaged in increasing the ca- 
pacity of its lines into San Francisco from 
fifty to eighty million gallons daily. This 
enlargement by thirty million gallons of the 
capacity of the Company's major transmis- 
sion lines is being accomplished by the in- 
stallation of what is called the new San An- 
dres pipe-line. It takes its name from Lake 
San Andres, in San Mateo County, whence 
it will draw water. The new line will termi- 
nate in Lake Honda Reservoir, San Fran- 
cisco. It is some eleven miles long. The San 
Andres line will be a working part of Spring 
Valley's big distributing system by summer- 
time this year. 

The new San Andres line may be regard- 
ed as a symbol of the steadily accelerated 
growth which is so important a fact in the 
present life of San Francisco. In the sum- 
mer of 1927, during those hot spells when 
consumption of water reaches the peak, it 
was brought home to public authority and 
to citizens in general that Spring Valley's 
contention as to the uncomfortably small in- 
terval between pipe capacity and consump- 
tion was exceedingly well taken, and that the 
situation called for immediate action. In 
consequence, the building of a new line to 
widen the margin of safety between pipe ca- 
pacity and peak consumption was author- 
ized by the Railroad Commission, and Spring 
Valley lost no time in beginning work. 

Engineering studies had already deter- 
mined the general scheme to be followed. 
Careful computation had been made of 
probable future water consumption, both for 
the city as a whole and for the distributing 
districts into which the citv is divided. The 

economic aspect, of course, had not been lost 
sight of — the aim in the construction of 
transmission lines must always be to supply 
water to those who need it at the lowest pos- 
sible cost that is consistent with safety and 

Before setting forth in detail the conclu- 
sions arrived at as a result of these studies, 
it will be informing as well as interesting to 
review briefly the gradual development of 
Spring Valley Water Company's major con- 

In the history of Spring Valley the first 
source of supply was Islais Creek. Water 
was diverted at a point near the present Mis- 
sion Street Viaduct, and was piped to a res- 
ervoir at Sixteenth and Brannan streets that 
has long been abandoned, although the curi- 
ous may trace its outlines by following the 
cinder path on the grounds of Lick-Wilmer- 
ding School. 

In 1862 water was brought to San Fran- 
cisco from the Upper Pilarcitos Dam by 
means of a wooden flume thirty-two miles 
long. This flume delivered water to Laguna 
Honda, which is situated in the hills west of 
Twin Peaks at an elevation of 370 feet 
above sea-level. Portions of that old flume, 
reconstructed and repaired, remained in ser- 
vice through Sutro Forest, on the west side 
of Mount Davidson, until residential devel- 
opment of that section — the subdivision of 
St. Francis Wood, etc. — made its replace- 
ment by pipes necessary about the year 

The construction of this flume was fol- 
lowed by the dry years of 1863 and 1864. 
The small reservoir made by the Upper Pil- 
arcitos Dam would have c;one drv had not 


April, 192 

Looking from the inlet across the waters of San Andres Lake 

pumps been quickly installed and water 
pumped from San Pedro Valley, near Sa- 
lada Beach, over the mountains into Pilar- 
citos Reservoir. 

In 1865 Spring Valley purchased all the 
property and franchises of the San Fran- 
cisco City Water Works, which had been 
incorporated just one year before Spring 
Valley. This senior company possessed the 
Lobos Creek supply, which it carried in a 
flume around the edge of the bay from Lobos 
Creek to Black Point at the foot of what is 
now Van Ness Avenue. At Black Point the 
water was pumped up the side of the hill 
into reservoirs at Francisco Street and Lom- 
bard Street. This delivery of water began on 
September 16, 1858, just eighty-six days 
after the incorporation of Spring Valley. 
The reservoirs, at Francisco and Hyde, and 
Lombard and Hyde, are still important units 
in the water system. The Lobos Creek flume 
has long since passed out of use, but the 
waters of Lobos Creek are still used by the 
United States Government to supply the Pre- 
sidio Military Reservation, the Government 

having acquired the Company's right to this 
water in 1915. 

Pumps at Black Point are still in opera- 
tion, supplying the same reservoirs. The wa- 
ter, however, comes from a different source, 
and the original pumps were replaced by the 
present ones in 1886 and 1892. This unit, 
after seventy-five years of continuous opera- 
tion, is destined for a change. With the com- 
pletion of the new San Andres line Black 
Point pumps will cease to be used as a regu- 
lar part of the system, and only in case of an 
emergency will they ever operate again. 

The Pilarcitos flume had a capacity of 
five million gallons daily. It soon became in- 
adequate, and all that portion east and north 
of the present San Andres Dam, excepting 
the section in Sutro Forest mentioned above, 
was replaced in 1868 by a pipe-line thirty 
inches in diameter and with a capacity of 
twelve million gallons daily. The construc- 
tion of this Pilarcitos line was just being 
completed at the time of the earthquake in 
1868. Spring Valley tradition has a vivid 
story about the consternation of the pipemen 


who were working inside the pipe when the 
earth movement took place. They thought 
water had been turned into the line, but for- 
tunately reassurance came to them quickly 
from their fellow workmen on the outside. 

From that time on the installation of ad- 
ditional transmission pipes continued almost 
without interruption. Pipe construction and 
installation was much slower in those days, 
for most of the work now done by machinery 
had to be done by hand. It took years to do 
what is now being done in months. 

The San Andres pipe of thirty-inch diam- 
eter was completed to College Hill Reservoir 
in 187 1. This line was thirteen miles long. 
In 1898 five miles of this line between San 
Andres and Baden were replaced by a forty- 
four-inch pipe. 

The Crystal Springs pipe-line was laid 
during 1884 and 1885. It is seventeen miles 
long and is now delivering into University 
Mound Reservoir twenty-five million gal- 
lons daily at an elevation of 1 7 1 feet. 

The Alameda line, taking water from Ala- 
meda Creek at a point just above Niles, was 
laid in 1888 and 1889. It is thirty-six inches 

in diameter, 2S]/ 2 miles long, and delivered 
eight million gallons daily into the forty- 
four-inch Crystal Springs line at Burlin- 
game. This line originally had two sixteen- 
inch submarine pipes, each 6400 feet long, 
crossing San Francisco Bay from Dumbar- 
ton Point to Ravenswood Point. In 1900 the 
capacity of the Alameda pipe was doubled — 
that is to say, it was increased to sixteen mil- 
lion gallons daily, by the construction of two 
additional submarine pipes of twenty-two- 
inch diameter; by diverting Alameda Creek 
water at Sunol instead of Niles, thus putting 
additional head on the pipe; and by con- 
structing an aqueduct, or tunnel and wooden 
flume, down Niles Canyon to connect with 
the original Alameda pipe-line on the hill- 
side at an elevation of seventy-five feet high- 
er than the creek level where the line for- 
merly started. 

In 1903 the Alameda pipe was extended 
by the construction of three miles of fifty- 
four-inch line from Burlingame to Millbrae. 
This increased the carrying capacity be- 
tween these two points and increased the 
amount of water that could be transferred 

At the lakeside two 

Is will take water at different elevat 


April, 192 

San Andres water will start toward San Francisco 
through this tunnel, eight feet high and eight feet wide 

into the San Andres line at Millbrae, while 
still maintaining a full head coming into 
University Mound from Crystal Springs. 

Spring Valley's first long transmission 
line, that from Pilarcitos, was retired from 
service after the fire of 1906. A substitute 
was provided by the construction of the 
Baden branch, seven miles long and thirty 
inches in diameter. A booster pump at Ocean 
View raised this water to the elevation of 
the Pilarcitos delivery point at Lake Honda. 
The Baden branch takes water from the San 
Andres line where that line passes Baden. 

The Pleasanton pipe-line, thirty inches in 
diameter and six miles long, was laid in 
1909. But by 19 1 2 more transmission-line 
capacity was needed ; so the carrying capac- 
ity of the Alameda line was increased by 
the installation of a booster pump at Ra- 
venswood, thus bringing its capacity up to 
twenty-one million gallons daily. 

By 19 15 San Francisco was using more 
water than the Spring Valley system was 
then developed to supply. Consumption de- 
creased when waste was eliminated by the 
installation of meters on all services through- 
out the city. Universal metering was com- 
pleted in 19 1 8. This effected such a substan- 
tial saving of water, without in any way 
reducing proper water usage, that the maxi- 
mum consumption dropped several million 

gallons daily below the daily capacity of the 
transmission lines. In 1925 the completion 
of Calaveras Dam increased the yield of the 
system by adding at least twenty-four mil- 
lion gallons daily. 

Development of the Calaveras sources ne- 
cessitated enlargement of transmission facili- 
ties in the Alameda division. A new conduit 
replaced the old one down Niles Canyon. 
The Niles Aqueduct has a capacity of sev- 
enty million gallons daily. It delivers water 
to the Niles regulating reservoir, whence a 
forty-four-inch pipe carries it to a point near 
Irvington. From there this portion of the 
supply is transported through the Bay Divi- 
sion of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct to the 
bay, across the bay, and to Crystal Springs 

Owing to the acceleration in city growth 
that began about 1924, consumption rapidly 
approached the maximum capacity of the 
transmission lines. By 1927 all in touch with 
water conditions had come to agree with 
Spring Valley that the construction of a new 
major line was imperatively required. And 
so, at the cost of over one million dollars, the 
construction of the new San Andres pipe-line 
was begun. 

It was decided that the new line should 
run to Lake Honda, the reservoir built to 
receive the first water that came from Pil- 
arcitos in the early sixties. This reservoir 
holds forty-four million gallons and is 370 
feet above city base, city base being a few 
feet above high tide in San Francisco Bay. 
The district supplied from Honda embraces 
about one-third of the city lying between two 
and three hundred feet in elevation. The 
present consumption in this district is seven- 
teen million gallons a day. 

With the delivery point in San Francisco 
decided upon, the source of supply for the 
new line was of more easy solution. Lake 
San Andres, the second storage reservoir 
constructed by the Company, lying in the 
hills west of Millbrae at an elevation of 440 
feet, fitted all the conditions necessary to 
deliver water through the new line. Lake 
San Andres has a storage capacity of 6000 
million gallons, with a yield, combined with 
Lake Pilarcitos, of nine million gallons a 
day. This lake is admirably situated so as 
to permit the pumping of additional water 
from Crystal Springs, through existing 
pumps and conduits, to make up for the 

April. 1928 


excess of draft over the normal catchment. 

The last problem to be solved was that of 
capacity, for a line either too small or too 
large would cause an economic loss. A pipe 
fifty-four inches in diameter was finally se- 
lected, as a line of that size would deliver 
thirty million gallons a day to Lake Honda. 
This additional supply will care for the 
needs of the city for many years to come. 

After taking bids on welded, riveted, and 
lockbar pipe, the contract for the construc- 
tion of the line was finally awarded to the 
Western Pipe & Steel Company for the fab- 
rication and installation of a lockbar line. 
The pipe-line will be 58,000 feet ( 1 1 miles) 
long. The plates used in making the pipe 
vary from seven-sixteenths to one-fourth of 
an inch in thickness, the line being designed 
to operate under a pressure of from twenty 
to more than two hundred and fifty pounds. 

Lockbar pipe is pipe made from steel 
plates the same as riveted pipe, except that the 
plates are joined to form each piece of pipe 
by means of an ingenious barlocking device. 
Two plates, each thirty feet long and wide 
enough to make half of a pipe, are rolled to 

a semicircle forming two troughs without 
the end pieces. One half is then placed on 
the other half, the lockbars being placed be- 
tween the upset edges of each part. They are 
then strapped together. This holds them in 
place while the pipe is run through a huge 
hydraulic press that exerts a tremendous 
pressure on the bar, squeezing it down onto 
the plates with such force that the plates 
would tear before they could be pulled loose 
from the bar. This gives the pipe a smooth 
interior, offering the least resistance to the 
flow of water. The pipe is heated and then 
double-dipped — that is, it is lowered into a 
vat of hot asphalt, then withdrawn until the 
asphalt cools to the sticky stage, then re- 
dipped. This second dipping is a quick one, 
the pipe being lowered into the dip and with- 
drawn as rapidly as possible. The second 
dip makes a thick coating. To further pro- 
tect the metal the pipe is then put into a 
spiral wrapping machine and wrapped with 
a felt similar to roofing felt, while a stream 
of hot asphalt is sprayed on the pipe and 
paper. By this method the steel is protected 
from corrosive action of moisture and soil. 

Large screens protect the lakeside tunnels against intrusion of foreign substances 


April, 192S 

Pipe-laying, like pipe-making, is a ma- 
chine-job nowadays. Very little of the labor 
is done by human hands. A big drag-line 
scraper, moving along on its own power, 
scoops out the dirt to form the ditch. The 
pipe is put on trucks by a crane and hauled 
to the job, where another powerful crane, 
built with caterpillar feet and able to move 
over the roughest ground, takes the pipe and 
places it in its proper position in the ditch. 
The usual riveted joint is made in connect- 
ing the lengths into one long continuous 
pipe. Riveting is done by air, and the fa- 
miliar sound of the riveting hammer can 
always be heard. 

Large gates will be placed in the line and 
connection made to the present lines, so that 
the whole system of supply pipes may be 
operated to the best advantage, thus insur- 
ing as constant a supply of water to San 
Francisco as is humanly possible. 

Beginning at San Andres, for the first 
several hundred feet the pipe will run 
through a concrete-lined tunnel. This tunnel 

is egg-shaped, eight feet high and eight feet 
wide at its widest point. At the lake side of 
the tunnel a concrete tower — really a con- 
crete-lined pit — was built, its top being just 
above the high-water level of the reservoir, 
and the bottom fifty feet down in the ground. 
From this shaft two short tunnels were run 
out into the water, big screens being put 
over their outer ends to prevent any foreign 
substances from getting into the pipe-line. 

Construction was started in February, the 
first piece of pipe being laid from Ocean 
Avenue along Junipero Serra Boulevard to 
Portola Drive, thence up Portola Drive to 
Dorchester Way. This section is now com- 
pleted, tested, and ready for use. 

Hardly was the first crew well under way 
when another began laying pipe at Baden, 
working its way northerly, just west of the 
State Highway, toward Colma. The pipe 
will pass west of Colma, run through Lake 
Merced Ranch, cross over to the east of the 
Junipero Serra Boulevard, and thence along 
the east side of Ju- [Continued to page to] 

nachines dig these trenches and quickly close the 

April, 1928 


The fifty-four-inch San Andres line that will increase daily capacity from fifty to eighty million gallc 


San Andres Reservoir, head of the new Spring Valley line. White MJ 

April, 1928 


law this region in 1769, and it was named for St. Andrew in 1774 



April, 1928 

[Continued from page 6] nipero Serra Bou- 
levard to the present completed part at 
Ocean Avenue. As winter passes and the 
land dries out, another crew will take up the 
work at Baden and lay southwest across the 
hills to the outlet tunnel at San Andres. 

And so, before the summer is over, San 
Francisco will have another line bringing in 
water to keep up the never-ending race of 
supplying water to anticipate the needs of 
fast-growing areas. When completed, the 
job will stand as a monument to the best ma- 
terials and the best methods of construction 
known at this time. 

The problem of distributing water to con- 
sumers is always complicated by irregulari- 
ties of terrain. San Francisco has many hills, 
each standing alone in the midst of low 
lands. Developed regions range from sea- 
level upward to almost nine hundred feet. 
San Francisco, therefore, is a most difficult 
city to supply. Out of the growth of the past 
seventy years have come six major districts, 
with twenty-odd smaller ones constantly 
forming and, as the city grows, merging 
with the larger districts. 

The past few years have seen the forma- 
tion of the Forest Hill district, the splitting 
of that when Stanford Heights Reservoir was 
built to form two districts, and the merger 
of Stanford Heights with Clarendon Heights 
to supply the fastest-growing area within the 
city. These changes represent the inevitable 
result of city growth. 

The development of the new thirty- 
million-gallon additional capacity has again 
forced changes in the city system, this time 
not in the districts themselves but in the 
manner of supplying them. 

At present the Crystal Springs pipe-line 
supplies water to University Mound district 
to its maximum capacity of twenty-five mil- 
lion gallons per day. Of this amount, three 
millions are pumped by the Black Point 
pumping station into the Presidio Heights 
district, and slightly less than three by the 
Clarendon Heights Pumps into the combined 
Stanford-Clarendon district. This leaves but 
nineteen millions to supply the University 
Mound consumers, an amount that is rapid- 
ly becoming inadequate. If Presidio Heights 
and Stanford-Clarendon can be supplied 
from another source, the full twenty-five 
millions will remain available for the use of 
the lower district. 

The next higher district, College Hill, is 
supplied by gravity from San Andres Reser- 
voir. This is a solidly built district; the 
present supply of seven million gallons daily 
is adequate and will probably be so for 
many years. 

When we get above College Hill, the 
water requires pumping. All the water for 
Lake Honda, amounting to about seventeen 
millions, is pumped mainly by three sta- 
tions, Central, City, and Ocean View, with 
a limited amount from Clarendon, and oc- 
casionally from Precita Valley, though the 
last station has not been operated regularly 
for some time past. 

Going still higher, Stanford-Clarendon, 
at 615 feet elevation, is supplied by the 
Clarendon Heights Pumps, as before men- 
tioned, and Forest Hill, at 800 feet eleva- 
tion, by an electrically operated pumping 
station taking water from Lake Honda. The 
Presidio Heights district, a closely built 
little area, just too high to be served from 
Lake Honda, is now supplied from the 
Black Point Pumps. 

With the advent of the new line, Lake 
Honda will be supplied with gravity water. 
Until the daily consumption passes the ca- 
pacity of the line, the operation of the pump- 
ing stations will be unnecessary, except that 
the City Pumping Station will be operated 
with water from Lake Merced, which is an 
independent source of supply furnishing 
about three and one-half millions daily. 

To relieve the University Mound district, 
the supply for both Presidio Heights and 
Stan ford- Clarendon will be taken from the 
present supply to Central Pumps. Two new 
turbine-driven centrifugal pumps will force 
the water against two hundred pounds pres- 
sure up into Stanford Heights Reservoir. A 
new twenty-four-inch pipe-line, designed to 
withstand the high pressure, will be laid 
from Central Pumps along Sloat Boulevard 
and Portola Drive to Stanford Heights Res- 
ervoir. A new basin will be built adjoining 
the present one, which will increase the stor- 
age capacity from five to more than ten mil- 
lion gallons. 

The Stanford-Clarendon pipe system will 
be reinforced by new twenty-inch and six- 
teen-inch pipes to the Clarendon Heights 
tank. From that point a twenty-inch line 
over 13,000 feet long will be run northerly 
and easterly across [Concluded on page 11] 


April. 1928 



"Bird £ife at (§an Andres 

By Olive Burroughs 

THE February field trip was taken on 
Sunday, the 12th [of February, 1928]. 
Going by stage to Burlingame, the party 
alighted at Easton Drive, walked in leisurely 
fashion to the ridge, where lunch was eaten, 
followed down the flume to the dam, and then 
skirted the shores of San Andres Lake. From 
here, the way led up to the road and out to 
the highway at Uncle Tom's Cabin, where 
street-cars and automobiles were requisi- 
tioned. Some of the party returned early; 
others remained for a longer day. 

The day was bright and still. A creeper's 
note was heard as we started up the avenue, 
■ but the bird could not be located among the 
tall trees here. Excursions down the sunny 
I side streets, however, revealed the presence of 
many old bird friends, most numerous among 
I which were the chickadees, bush-tits and Au- 
1 dubon warblers.' 

A Hutton vireo called repeatedly from a 
tree by the roadside as we started up the hill. 
Out in the open three hawks soared and dis- 
played their red tails. 

A few pipits and meadow-larks were seen 
while we were at lunch at the top of the ridge. 
This was good horned-lark country, but none 
was spied until the party resumed its way 
after lunch. Then, just beyond the crest of 
the hill, two were found feeding, and they 
formed the center of interest for several min- 

shafted flicker; Northern say and black 
phoebes; California horned lark; Southern 
coast stellar and Southern California jays; 
California plain titmouse; Santa Cruz 
chestnut-backed chickadee; Pacific Coast 
bush-tit; intermediate wren-tit; Vigor's Bew- 
ick wren; dwarf hermit thrush; Western 
robin; Western Mexican bluebird; ruby- 
crowned kinglet; American pipit; California 
Hutton vireo; Pacific Audubon warbler; 
Western meadow-lark; California Brewer 
blackbird; California purple finch; Califor- 
nia linnet; green-backed Arkansas gold- 
finch; Northern pine-siskin; San Francisco 
spotted and San Francisco brown towhees; 
fox sparrow, Point Pinos Oregon junco, 
Nuttall white-crowned, golden-crowned and 
Santa Cruz song sparrows — 53 species. 

Members in attendance: Mesdames Brace - 
lin, Kibbe, Mexia; the Misses Burroughs 
Ethel Haefner, Paroni, Payne; Dr. Card: 
Messrs. Bacon, Bryant, Lockerbie, Myer. As 
guests: The Misses Kautz, Meyer; Messrs. 
Friedman, Jussel, Vick; Scouts Dave Baci- 
galupi, Armand Barnett, Milton Friedman. 
Dick Jacobi, Jess Openheimer, and Bill 
Rousseau. Thirteen members and eleven 

— From The Gull, published by Audubon As- 
sociation of the Pacific for the Study and 
Protection of Birds. 

A flock of fourteen band-tailed pigeons 
was sighted as we approached the lake. At 
the lake were seen several great blue herons, 
grebes, coots, mallard and ruddy ducks. 
Some of the party went down to the lower end 
of the lake to see the Canada geese, the scaup 
and the ruddy ducks at close range. 

Birds encountered were: Western, Ameri- 
can eared, and pied-billed grebes; California 
great blue heron; honker Canada goose; 
mallard, canvas-back, scaup and ruddy 
ducks; Northern turkey vulture; sharp- 
shinned Western red-tailed, and desert spar- 
row hawks; coast California quail; Ameri- 
can coot; spotted sandpiper; California gull; 
Northern band-tailed pigeon; Anna and 
Allen humming-birds; Western belted king- 
fisher; down}- woodpecker; Monterey red- 

iJlbundant 'Wate?' 

[Continued from page 10] the Panhandle, 
then on through the Western Addition, final- 
ly terminating in the Presidio Heights dis- 
trict at Lyon and Washington streets. There 
the new pipe will be connected to existing 
mains through large pressure regulators 
which will so control flow that water will be 
supplied to the faucet under most advanta- 
geous pressure. 

These changes will require the laying of 
31,000 feet of pipe, the installation of two 
nine-million-gallon pumps, and the con- 
struction of a reservoir of five million gal- 
lons capacity. 

All to the end that abundant water may 
make for civic prosperity. 



April, 192S 

San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 

Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. VII. April, 1928 No. 2 

£aguna 3zConda 

HIGH up above the moiling town 
Beside a forest glen, 
Where scented blossoms tumble down 

To shield a fairy fen, 
A placid pool of heaven tones 

Lies smiling in the sun, 
And by its side through pifion cones 
The woodland creatures run. 

Upon its brink you stand and gaze 

Into the limpid blue 
When comes a most ecstatic haze 

To weave a dream for you. 
You dream of beauty pure and chaste 

And Romance smiling near; 
A rhythmic life devoid of haste, 

With music ringing clear. 

You hear the gurgle of a child, 

A mother's gentle croon ; 
And Truth smiles upward, undefiled, 

To match the heart, attune. 
There's something purifying, sweet, 

In water still and blue; 
'Tis there the soul and heart may meet 

And plan a life anew ! 

— Miles Overholt, in S. F. Call. 

£unset and £kylh 


WE shall never be choked to death — ■ 
that is, those of us who have no expec- 
tation of committing a capital crime. Close 
your desk at five o'clock in a San Francisco 
office and the country is but ten minutes 

Is that a slight exaggeration? Not if you 
can make the Panhandle in ten minutes. Ap- 

praisers fix Fourth and Market streets as the I 
business vortex, and it can be done from there I 
without violation of the traffic rules. 

Once at the Panhandle, a wooded avenue || 
leads on into the gardens and meadows of 1 
Golden Gate Park. Sheep in the low mead- I 
ows and bison in the wooded glade. A strand | 
of silver surf gliding by and then a quick lift | 
to the Skyline. Surely this is country and sea- j< 

In the lake country. It is never spoken of I 
as such, but if we had less water hereabouts I 
in bay and ocean San Francisco's "lake coun- \i 
try" would be famous. Merced, San Andres, I 
Crystal Springs, Pilarcitos — and twenty-five < 
miles of fresh water on the very rim of the I 
briny Pacific. 

Traveling over rough country and un- I 
blazed trails we always keep to the high I 
ridges. Canyons are devious and tricky, j 
Above one can keep his bearings. That's the 1 
Skyline — the place to correct mental bear- I 
ings. The inevitable Orient on one hand; I 
Diablo, our base line; Hamilton, with its eye j 
peeping into the secrets of heaven; the Berke- I 
ley Campanile prying open the intellectual I 
midstratum, on the other. 

Thoughts come pouring in. 

"The time has come," the Walrus said, 

"To talk of many things: 
Of shoes — and ships— and sealing-wax — 
Of cabbages — and kings." 

The Skyline presents the cabbage-patch and { 
cuts through the fairways of California's I 
royal sport. Golf is winning. The cabbage is !] 
in retreat. There was a time when the cab- m 
bage-patch had no fence. Now it seeks the I 
protection of the law. Twenty-five dollars is I 
the price of a head of cabbage — if heedlessly \ 
plucked on the theory that it belongs to the 
indigenous flora of the land. 

A California Skyline must necessarily lead 
to mountains, and without effort you find 
yourself on Kings Mountain, in the red- 
woods, among the summer cabins. 

La Honda and a trout for dinner. There is 
no closed season on the trout farm, and the 
"silver eagle" is a fly that never fails to get 
a rise. 

Another "close-up" of San Francisco. It is 
the place where there is no question of a 
choice between the city and the country. You 
can have both between five o'clock and sun- 
set. — Robert H. Willson, in S. F. Bulletin, 
February 16, 1928. 

-April, 1928 



<iAppraising a zJb€an 

^Address ^Delivered before the ^urlingame %atary Glub 
By the Editor 

MR. GEORGE DAVIS will agree with 
me that in the service of Spring Val- 
ley Water Company we find it necessary to 
study many things besides water, its sources 
and its distribution. One of these many 
things — and one about which Mr. Davis 
knows a great deal, while I know very little 
— is the difficult subject of valuation and 
[appraisement as applied to all sorts of water- 
• supply properties. A whole library of books 
|has been written on valuation and appraise- 
ment. Every time a public utility appears be- 
fore the Railroad Commission or any other 
authority, this subject of valuation and ap- 
praisement is very much in the foreground. 
I As publicity man for Spring Valley Water 
Company, I have had to read about valua- 
tion and appraisement a good deal, but I 
must confess that my knowledge of the sub- 
ject is extremely superficial. However, it has 
frequently occurred to me that some of the 
[rules of valuation and appraisement may be 
applied to human nature in such a way as to 
yield some fruitful maxims, and so I shall 
endeavor to use the principles and methods 
that govern valuation for the appraisement 
not of man's property but of man himself. 

The Valuation of a Man ! Here is a sub- 
ject as old as the world and as new as any 
infant born today. 

"The proper study of mankind is man," 
said Alexander Pope; and all our study of 
man, all the conclusions we draw about our- 
selves and our fellow men from a lifetime 
of experience, observation, and thought, are 
not thrown away if they enable us to place a 
proper valuation upon you and me. 

"The more I know about men, the more 
highly I think of dogs," said a brilliant wo- 
man; but she was a pessimist and a cynic. 
Her valuation of men had been insecurely 
based on romantic idealism and had led her 
through sentimentality to disillusion and 
from disillusion to bitterness. She was a 
prejudiced appraiser. 

I prefer the words of Shakespeare : "What 
a piece of work is man ; how noble in reason ; 

how infinite in faculty; in form and moving, 
how express and admirable; in action, how 
like an angel; in apprehension, how like a 
god!" Shakespeare had a sound idea of the 
worth and dignity of human nature. He was 
a good appraiser. 

What is value? "Value," says H. D. Mac- 
leod in his "Elements of Economics," "is a 
substance which measures the estimation in 
which men hold things. When there is a 
demand for things, they have value; when 
there is no demand, there is no value." 

Apply this definition of value to man: 
The value of a man is the estimation in 
which he is held — the demand that exists 
for him. If there is a demand for a man, he 
possesses value — if there is no demand for 
him, he is without value. 

The obvious application of this definition 
of a man's value is in the labor market. Ev- 
ery man who is fulfilling the purpose for 
which he was placed on earth is a laborer. 
And for every laborer there is some kind of 
demand. Every laborer has a certain value. 
For the wastrel, the incurable idler, the 
gilded popinjay who spends an unearned in- 
crement, the human parasite who does not 
labor — for all these men there is no de- 
mand; such men have no value. 

Economists, and appraisers who apply the 
principles of economics, make a distinction 
between value and price. 

Price is value translated into money. But 
price is not synonymous with value, for 
value is only an estimate of what price ought 
to be. Price is a question of fact — value is a 
question of opinion. Hence, price is more 
easily ascertained than value. 

There is a cynical sense in which it is 
said that every man has his price. But the 
cynic is usually a liar; so we shall not pause 
to place a valuation on this favorite remark 
of his. 

There is, however, another sense — and I 
am speaking now of the labor market — in 
which it is quite true that every true man — 
that is to say, every laborer — has his price. 

The law of supply and demand fixes our 



April, 1928) 

price for all of us who are laborers. Some- 
times that price is the full measure of our 
value. Sometimes that price is higher than 
our true value. Sometimes it is lower. 

If the price we command in the labor 
market is higher than our true value, one of 
two things happens. Either we are eventu- 
ally found out, and our price declines; or, 
realizing our shortcomings, we increase our 
value by redoubled efforts, by harder work 
and more stubborn application, until we are 
earning our price by yielding full value to 
our employer. 

It is a wholesome thing for any man who 
is receiving a good wage, a satisfactory sal- 
ary, to reappraise himself from time to time 
in order to ascertain whether he is giving 
value to the full measure of his price. 

If an honest appraisal tells him he is 
overpaid, he will know what to do. He need 
not resign his job — that is heroic, and not to 
be expected. But let him work harder, and 
so bring his value up to his price. 

If, after such appraisal, he concludes that 
he is not overpaid, let him beware of attach- 
ing too much importance to the appraisal. 
There is always the chance that he is a poor 
appraiser. A very safe rule in such cases is 
to go over the items again with scrupulous 
care and a little more humility of spirit. The 
man who thinks he is yielding full value for 
what he earns generally has an exaggerated 
idea of his worth. 

According to the decision of the United 
States Supreme Court, "the value of prop- 
erty results from the use to which it is put." 
This is true of men. The value of a man re- 
sults from the use to which he puts himself. 
The moral to be drawn from that statement 
is obvious, and I shall not enlarge on the 

Experts in valuation distinguish several 
kinds of value. These are usually listed as 
follows: scrap or junk value; salvage value; 
service value; potential value; going value; 
going-concern value; and permanent or fair 
market value. 

Let us see if these values mean anything 
when applied to a man. And first of all, 
scrap or junk value. 

"All physical property," says Henry Floy, 
"has a certain scrap or junk value, beyond 
which there is no depreciation. Hence, phys- 
ical property can deteriorate only until it 
reaches its scrap value. This value is simply 

the fair market price that a purchaser will 
pay for the property in its disintegrated con- 

We are not called upon to apply this prin- 
ciple to man, unless we are thoroughgoing 
materialists. If one believes that man is a 
mere machine, worthless when the heart 
stops beating, one may definitely trace his 
descent from degradation to degradation un- 
til he has naught but a scrap or junk value. 
But man has a soul to be saved, and in the 
most consoling of creeds that soul, while it 
animates a living body, never reaches the 
point of worthlessness. While there is life 
there is always another chance for a man, no 
matter how wantonly he may have depreciat- 
ed his spiritual value. 

Sometimes equipment in good working 
shape may not be adapted to one plant, and 
yet could render good service in another. 
This is technically called salvage value. Ap- 
ply the idea to a man. 

If a man is not adapted to his job — if the 
working conditions have outgrown him — he 
is a misfit and is not giving full value. 
Transferred to another job, his value may be 
enhanced. Lucky the man who discovers for 
himself that he is a misfit, and has the cour- 
age to act on that knowledge. The world is a 
hard taskmaster, and if the knowledge does 
not come to him spontaneously, it will be 
forced upon him. 

Wearing value is defined as the difference 
between original cost and scrap value. What 
is the original cost of man ? It is the sum of 
a series of tremendous investments. It in- 
cludes all that was put into a man by his 
ancestry — the aspirations, the passions, the 
emotions and tendencies bequeathed to him 
by his forefathers from the beginning of the 
world. It is all that his forefathers endured 
in the long, hard upward swing from bar- 
barism to civilization. It is, more immediate- 
ly, all that he inherited from his mother and 
father — those wondrous possibilities of good 
to which he fell heir when he was conceived 
in the womb. The original cost of a man is 
all that his mother invested in him when he 
knelt at her knee, all that his father be- 
stowed when guiding his first faltering steps 
in the right path of a strange world. It is all 
his training and education, all the sacrifices 
that were made for him, all the anxiety and 
care that were lavished upon him. The orig- 
inal cost of a man cannot be calculated. 

April, 1928 



A merciful provision of nature permits a 
man's mother to forget the pangs in which 
he was born, and a merciful providence does 
not cast up too accurately all that was in- 
vested in the making of a man, else none of 
us would dare hold up his head in the sun- 
light or face the dark unterrified. 

The wearing value of a man which is cal- 
culated from his original cost is too vast, too 
fearful a subject, and I pass on. 

We are on less dangerous ground when we 
come to the service value of a man. Again I 
go to Henry Floy for a definition of service 
value: "Property, honestly and intelligently 
purchased with a view to its suitableness for 
the service intended, maintains its original 
value practically throughout its life, except 
for such deterioration as results from wear 
and tear." 

This is an encouraging doctrine when ap- 
plied to the valuation of a man. Let us adapt 
it to our present purpose, as follows: A man 
who is honestly and intelligently devoted to 
his work maintains his original value prac- 
tically throughout his life, except for such 
deterioration as results from wear and tear. 

That is a principle of action accepted by 
every liberal-minded employer. Years of 
honest labor bring inevitably a slowing-up 
of mental processes and manual dexterity; 
but what is lost that way is compensated for 
by the accumulated riches of experience. 
Were it otherwise, there would be no elderly 
men in office or factory. 

While one - hundred - per - cent efficiency 
may be the standard of perfection in labor, 
there can be no such thing measured by 
merely mechanical means. The mind may 
function actively while the arteries are get- 
ting hard. The service value of a man is not 
exclusively the record of his time-clock. 

Potential value is the value that may come 
through future growth or economic change. 
In other words, potential value is largely 
the substance of things hoped for. Every 
man, in his own estimation, has unlimited 
potential value. 

Up to a certain point all of us realize our 
potentialities. At a certain point most of us 
are content to cease striving and merely to 
dream. The great man is he who keeps on 
year after year realizing more and more of 
his potentialities. There are very few great 

The potential value of a man is always 

interesting because it is speculative, and we 
all like to speculate, but after a certain age 
it is not important. Every man may fix that 
age for himself. Every man will probably fix 
it ten or fifteen years from now. If we faced 
facts too honestly, life would be intolerable. 

Going value in property valuation is the 
cost to the owner of bringing the plant to a 
self-supporting basis. It is also called de- 
velopment expense. It is based on the losses 
incurred in the earlier years of operation; it 
is the uncompensated cost of building up the 

The going value of a man may be said to 
include the expense of fitting him for work, 
for business life. This embraces all the ex- 
pense of his education — not merely the total 
expended in tuition fees, but those other im- 
portant expenses which vary with the par- 
ticular manner in which each man educates 
himself. With one young man these expenses 
may include the sums he loses at poker be- 
fore he is sufficiently educated to realize that 
success in poker is a career, not a recreation. 
With another young man these educational 
expenses may include the money he squan- 
dered in a futile endeavor to nullify the Vol- 
stead Act. 

In other words, a man's going value in- 
cludes all the expenses, whether foolish or 
otherwise, which he incurs in bringing him- 
self to maturity and common sense. They 
are the expenses of his development. It is 
worth noting, as a warning, that all of these 
expenses are not allowed in up-to-date valu- 

Going-concern value is next on our list. 
It is defined as "the value which is added to 
the physical value of a plant by virtue of the 
successful and harmonious operation of the 
whole, and the co-ordination of the various 

The going-concern value of a man is the 
value which springs from the fact that body 
and brain are functioning properly, that he 
is "hitting on all cylinders." This value pre- 
supposes that he leads a normal life, that he 
treads with tolerable regularity the straight 
and narrow path. Dissipation decreases a 
man's going-concern value. Let him who is 
without sin appraise the other fellow's going- 
concern value. 

Finally we come to fair market value. 
This is defined as the price accepted by an 
owner willing to sell to a purchaser willing 



April, 192 

to buy at a fair price, and at a sale that is 
not forced. 

When a man enters the labor market to 
sell his labor, he quite naturally seeks his 
full market value. He does not always get it. 
The labor market may be overstocked. Buy- 
ers may be conservative, not to say skeptical. 
The man himself may not be a good sales- 

Stern necessity sometimes impels a man to 
accept less than the fair market value of his 
labor. Let him not be ashamed of so doing. 
Better by far to labor for an inadequate 
wage than to remain idle while waiting for 
one's fair market value. 

Work is honorable, and is never thrown 
away. The man who does not hesitate to 
work at an inadequate wage rather than not 
work at all, is more likely to attain his fair 
market value than the man who elevates his 
nose and twiddles his thumbs while waiting 
for the ideal job to turn up. 

It may be set down as a rule that the man 
who values himself a little modestly will 
eventually get his fair market value; and 
what is more, not having overappraised him- 
self, he will never have to forfeit his self- 

There are certain other principles of valu- 
ation which may be applied with propriety 
to the valuation of a man. For instance, 

there is the theory of intangibles. Intangible 
values, on the authority of our highest 
courts, cannot be ignored in making a valu- 

Employers should never forget that ev-| 
ery good working man has a certain intangi- 
ble value which cannot be elicited from a 
man by the most cunningly contrived ques- 
tionnaire, or put down in black and white on 
a time-card. At the same time, no laborer 
should be encouraged to attach too much im- 
portance to intangibles. If a man begins 
writing intangibles into his expense account, 
he should be taken aside and reasoned with, 
quietly but firmly. 

Another very important principle of valu- 
ation is expressed in the thought that the, 
only practical value is present value. The 
man who tries to sell his labor at last year's 
value is one year behind the times. He needs 
a lesson in the doctrine of depreciation. The 
man who tries to sell his labor at what he 
thinks will be his value next year — at his 
potential value, in other words — ought to 
have his head examined. 

This in conclusion: When it is necessary 
to arrive at your own value, it is advisable 
to call in other appraisers to check your fig- 
ures. There never yet was a self-appraisal 
that could stand the test of impartial cross- 

"Drink Plenty of Water 

ANEW YORK chain restaurant has 
counted the people who eat in its res- 
taurants and has learned that only twenty- 
nine out of every hundred patrons drink the 
water that is set at every place. Therefore the 
restaurant, to save water bills and dishwash- 
ing charges, will serve no water unless re- 

Instead of doing this, the restaurant should 
try to change human habits a little by urging 
people to drink water, placing signs, if neces- 
sary, in every restaurant informing patrons 
of the necessity of plenty of water. 

Every doctor tells his patients to drink at 
least eight glasses of water a day as a pre- 
ventive of sickness. Clean hands carry the 
minimum of disease dirt; clean intestines 
harbor a minimum of germs, and everybody 
should know that. 

The only thing that is wrong about advis- 
ing people to drink water is that the remedy 
is too easy. Doctors know that if they tell 
people to do a simple thing, they will not do 
it; but if they advise a complicated and mys- 
terious remedy they will accept it eagerly. 
Even Plato complained, twenty-two centuries 
ago, that people who pay for the advice doc- 
tors give them will not follow it if it means a 
change of habits. They want something cut 

But eight glasses of water a day will cut 
out many a visit to the doctor. — S. F. Call, 
February 23, 1928. 

The picture on the cover of San Francisco 
Water shows the laying of the new San An- 
dres pipe-line in St. Francis Wood. 

Spring Valley Water Company 

F. B. Anderson Benjamin Bangs W. B. Bourn 

S. P. Eastman Sidney M. Ehrman E. L. Eyre Robert G. Hooker 

Frank B. King E. J. McCutchen 

L. F. Monteagle Warren Olney, Jr. A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 



S. P. Eastman SECRETARY 


E. J. McCutchen TREASURER 

Chairman of the Board 

G. A. Elliott 

John J. Sharon 

H. M. Kinsey 

Benjamin Bangs 


Assistant Auditor 

John J. Sharon 
D. W. Cooper 

Water Sales 
Department : 


V. E. Perry 

Chief Engineer 
Assistant Chief Engineer 
Office Engineer 

G. A. Elliott 

T. W. Espy 

I. E. Flaa 

Assistant Manager 
Supervisor, Consumers' Accounts 
Supervisor, Collections 
Manager, Docks and Shipping 

A. M. Cooley 

W. D. Ryder 

A. W. Till 

H. Templeman 

Superintendent, City 

George W. Pracy 

Superintendent Agricultural 

F. W. Roeding 

Assistant Superintendent 

0. G. Goldman 

Assistant Superintendent 

C. H. Schween 

Foreman, Service and Meter 

Joseph Kappeler 

Assistant to Superintendent 

Frank Peters 

Foreman, City Distribution 

J. J. Miley 

Director of Publicity 

Edward F. O'Day 

Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis 
Assistant Superintendent S. M. Millard 

Manager Real Estate 

Theodore J. Wilder 

Superintendent Alameda System 

A. W. Ebright 

Purchasing Agent 

J. H. Le Pla 







(san francisco) 

Tho I die on a distant strand, 

And they give me a grave in that land, 
Yet carry me back to my own city ! 
Carry me back to her grace and pity ! 

For I think I could not rest 

Afar from her mighty breast. 

She is fairer than others are 
Whom they sing the beauty of. 

Her heart is a song and a star — 
My cool, grey city of love. 

Tho they tear the rose from her brow, 

To her is ever my vow; 
Ever to her I give my duty — 
First in rapture and first in beauty, 

Wayward, passionate, brave, 

Glad of the life God gave. 

The sea-winds are her kiss, 
And the sea-gull is her dove; 

Cleanly and strong she is — 
My cool, grey city of love. 

The winds of the Future wait 

At the iron walls of her Gate, 
And the western ocean breaks in thunder, 
And the western stars go slowly under, 

And her gaze is ever West 

In the dream of her young unrest. 

Her sea is a voice that calls, 
And her star a voice above, 

And her wind a voice on her walls — 
My cool, grey city of love. 

Tho they stay her feet at the dance, 

In her is the far romance. 
Under the rain of winter falling, 
Vine and rose will await recalling. 

Tho the dark be cold and blind, 

Yet her sea'fog"s touch is kind, 

And her mightier caress 
Is joy and the pain thereof; 

And great is thy tenderness, 
O cool, grey city of love ! 


San Francisco Witer 


Spring Valley Water Company 


Volume VII July, 1928 Number 3 

Terba "Buena / yuly g / 1846 


To Columbia, the Mother, a dark-eyed babe was brought 
In that far year when Mexico and our young legions fought. 
Around her mighty footstool then stood offspring east and west, 
But never one like that strange child she gathered to her breast. 

And never one Columbia held gladlier her own — 
A babe, a child, a wistful girl, a maiden fair and grown. 
Awhile she sought the fostering breast, and ere its milk was cold, 
She brimmed the Mother s needy lap with tribute of her gold. 

'Then year by year her empire grew, from snows to ocean sands, 
A wonder-tale, a song of hope, a star to sadder lands. 
There gleamed that El Dorado, the bright Hesperian Isles, 
Wherever woke the fadeless flower to Nature's tender smiles. 

Thrice happy they who on her hills find sustenance and peace, 
No seas more blue 'round Italy, no skies more mild o'er Greece. 
Careless and prodigal from youth, no thought of thrift she knows, 
Who to her sisters north and east holds forth the grape and rose. 

Yet can she never be as they: her wilder blood demands 

A richer music, madder love, than those of colder lands. 

The hoyden of her Mother s hearth, she finds in every vein 

The Saxon urge, the Norman dream, the impassioned blood of Spain. 


July, 192 

"To T^emember Qeorge Sterling 

DURING the noon-hour of Monday, 
June 25, 1928, an informal and un- 
ostentatious ceremony took place on a little 
bit of ground at the crest of the Hyde-street 
hill in San Francisco. It was the dedication 
of a bench placed by Spring Valley Water 
Company in remembrance of California's 
great poet, George Sterling. 

Just seventy years ago a reservoir for the 
water service of young 
San Francisco was built 
on the block of high 
land bounded by Hyde 
and Larkin, Greenwich 
and Lombard streets. 
The reservoir is still in 
use. Just below the slop- 
ing southern wall of this 
Lombard-street Reser- 
voir (as it is called), 
there is an open and 
level space where for 
years mothers have 
brought their children 
to play in the sun and 
where lovers loiter at 
sunset to enjoy the gor- 
geous evening pagean- 
try of the Golden Gate. 
This spot was selected 
as the most appropriate 
of all places in Spring Valley ownershi] 
a memorial to the departed singer. 

The idea of such a memorial was con- 
ceived by S. P. Eastman, president of Spring 
Valley Water Company, and its execution 
was entrusted to Gardner Dailey, architect 
and landscape artist. Mr. Dailey's plan call- 
ed for a bench uniting beauty with utility, 
placed at the end of a graveled walk enclosed 
by trees. The bench was executed by Glad- 
ding, McBean & Co. in decorative tile, a 
medium still new and strange to the general 
public but widely recognized by artists as a 
superb vehicle of beauty. Inset is a memorial 
tablet in bronze. Plane trees that will grow 
up and interlace their branches were planted 
on either side of the approach. Behind the 
bench will rise a screen of noble Monterey 

The bronze tablet bears the words "To 
Remember George Sterling, 1869-1926," 


with a quotation from Sterling's "Ode to 
Shelley," and a selection — words and music 
— from the "Song of Friendship," which was 
the joint composition of George Sterling and 
Uda Waldrop. This song has never been 
published. The "Ode to Shelley" appeared 
several years ago in Scribner's, but is not in- 
cluded in any of Sterling's books. 

A group of George Sterling's intimate 
friends assembled for 
the informal ceremony 
of dedication. In ex- 
plaining the purpose of 
the gathering, Edward 
F. O'Day told how Mr. 
Eastman had suggested 
a memorial shortly after 
Sterling's death. 

"In common with all 
true San Franciscans," 
he said, "the president 
of Spring Valley appre- 
ciates the worth of 
George Sterling both as 
a poet and as a man. 
He realizes how much 
George Sterling means 
to San Francisco, and 
how much Sterling lov- 
ed San Francisco. This 
feeling of appreciation, 
I think, is very wide-spread in our commun- 
ity. People who never met George Sterling 
regard him as one of our great figures, as one 
of the men who typify what San Francisco 
stands for in the world of art. That position 
of George's was strengthened by some of his 
finest poems — his 'Exposition Ode,' his 
'Evanescent City,' and his 'Cool, Grey City 
of Love,' one of the loveliest things George 
ever wrote. 

"And so Mr. Eastman thought that it 
would be a sweet and appropriate thing to 
place on Spring Valley property a little 
simple memorial that would not be con- 
spicuous, in a place where it would not 
thrust itself upon the attention of San Fran- 
ciscans and of visitors, but would have to 
be sought out, or would bring the thrill of 
accidental discovery. This bench with its 
appropriate inscription is the result of that 

July, 1Q2S 


"These properties, after seventy years of 
Spring Valley life, will shortly pass from 
private ownership to the control of the City 
'and County of San Francisco. It seems a 
{happy circumstance that a company so long 
identified with San Francisco life should de- 
vote one of its final gestures to the honor of 
our greatest San Francisco poet." 

Recalling that George Sterling had a ge- 
.nius for friendship, and that, like the Ro- 
mans, he valued friendship above all other vir- 
tues, the chairman requested Charles Bulotti 
to sing the "Song of Friendship,"' written by 
(Sterling and commem- 
orated on the bronze 
i tablet of the bench. Uda 
Waldrop, who composed 
the music, accompanied 
Mr. Bulotti. The words 
of the sonc; follow: 

"At twilight, gentle ghosts, arrayed 
In mists of lavender, invade 
The forest aisles as faintly hums 
The tiny beat of cricket drums 
And night's first overture is played. 

"The soft caress of the night, 
The kiss of a truant breeze, 
The glint afar of a dancing star, 
The lace of a thousand trees : 
Ah, Love, you have loved all these, 
And so, on the perfumed night. 
You have sent me a thought through 

the trees — 
It's your kiss, on the wand'ring breeze." 

"Give, O Gods, a laughing 

Give, O Gods, a brimming 

glass — 
But to crown the blessing, 

Kindly Gods, a faithful 


"Is there one who drinks 

Then his heart is but a 

He who clinks his cup 

with mine 
Adds a glory to the wine. 


George Sterling 

1869 — 1926 


O Singer, fled afar! 

tlic erected mrksss smi but isle the 5tas 
That was your voice to men. 
Till morning come again 

And of the Nwrnwr song alone remain 


'Shadows come and shadows go- 
At the last we well shall know 
When the fleeting shadows fall, 
Friendship is the best of all." 

. Haig Patigian, sculptor of national celeb- 
rity and twice president of the Bohemian 
Club, spoke briefly about George Sterling, 
emphasizing those traits of kindliness and 
humanity that made him lovable. He said 
that no more appropriate spot could have 
been chosen for a memorial to a poet who so 
deeply loved San Francisco, and particular- 
ly the hills commanding the Golden Gate. 

A song of which George Sterling was par- 
ticularly fond is "The Soft Caress of the 
Night," written by Waldemar Young and set 
to music by Uda Waldrop. This was sung 
very beautifully by Mrs. Uda Waldrop. The 
words are as follows : 

In concluding the 
ceremony, S. P. East- 
man summed up its 
meaning in this terse 
sentence : 

"It is proper that a 
company serving the 
material needs of a com- 
munity should honor the 
spiritual things that 
give life its true value." 
Before the simple 
dedication was over, 
children were gather- 
ing around, and as the 
guests went away, there 
was young laughter in 
their ears. The bench 
was already a part of 
their playground. 
Among the invited guests were the follow- 
ing: Vail Bakewell, Mr. and Mrs. Phil 
Bekeart, Edward Benjamin, Albert Bender, 
Mr. Bigin, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Bulotti, Mrs. 
C. Tobin Clark, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Coryell, 
Templeton Crocker, Mr. and Mrs. Earl 
Cummings, Mrs. Marian Cunha, Charles S. 
Cushing, O. K. Cushing, Mr. and Mrs. 
Gardner Dailey, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dick- 
man, Airs. Denis Dimond, Mr. and Mrs. 
Maynard Dixon, Charles C. Dobie, George 
Douglas, Mr. and Mrs. S. P. Eastman. Mr. 
and Mrs. G. A. Elliott, Frank English, Sara 
Bard Field, Roy S. Folger, Harry Francis, 
Porter Garnett, Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie 
Gordon, Mrs. Kenneth Gregory, Fred W. 
Hall, Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Hamilton, Mr. 
and Mrs. L. W. Harris, Mrs. Frank C. 
Havens, Mr. and Mrs. Homer Henley. James 
Hooper, Colonel [Concluded on page 16] 


July, 1928 

The bench to remember George Sterling is on a San Francisco hill that commands the Golden Gate 

Sterling: ^ "Tribute 

By Idwal Jones 
[S. F. Examiner, November 18, 1926] 

GEORGE STERLING, touching on his 
fifty-seventh year, and feeling wearied 
turned his face to the wall and died. He 
quitted this life from his little room in the 
Bohemian Club, and with no more regret 
than a bird quitting a twig. 

This was somewhere between 7 o'clock of 
Tuesday night and noon yesterday. No mat- 
ter when. For the curtain had fallen on the 
drama of San Francisco's Bohemia in which 
he had been master of revelry for two golden 
and charming decades. 

The Dionysian had drunk the cup to the 
lees, and found the end of life bitter. The 
reason for living was past finding out. He 

said good-by to no one. To say good-by 
would have caused his friends grief. They 
are many, and they all wept, for he was an 
exquisite poet, and a charming and loyal 

I last saw him two weeks ago. We had 
walked arm in arm through dense fog at 
midnight, and we parted after a stop at a 
street corner where he talked on friendship. 

"I hope the best thing any one will say 
about me," he said, "is that 'George was a 
Roman for friendship, and that he learned 
the lesson from his master, Ambrose Bierce'." 

He turned abruptly and disappeared into 
the fog with his shapeless hat oddly perched 

July, 1928 


Men who loved George Sterling: 
John Henry Nash, A. M. Robertson, Haig Patigian, Uda Waldrop, Albert Bender, Edward H. Hamilton 

on his gray hair. He lived, a poignant, 
lonely, mournful figure, with his pinched 
Dantean face fallen on his shoulder like a 
medieval saint on a church window. 

He had an accountable reason for disap- 
pearing thus. He loved the fog. He cele- 
brated it in the lines : 

"Though the dark be cold and blind, 
Yet her sea-fog's touch is kind, 
And her mightier caress 
Is joy and pain thereof; 
And great is thy tenderness, 
O cool, grey city of love!" 

Lest anyone who entered the room find 
anything that might be taken as a farewell, 
he burnt all his letters and photographs, ex- 
cept those that hung framed on the wall. In 
one of these was exhibited the handsome 
sardonic face of Ambrose Bierce. He had 
been meditating a life of this old friend who 
had so influenced his life. The sole data he 
had gotten together so far was a clipping of 
the poem Sterling had writen on him. It was 

one stanza, penned after Bierce's supposed 
suicide : 

"Were his a reason to embrace 
The Roman's dignity of death, 
Whose will decreed his final breath, 
Determining the time and place, 
Be sure his purpose was a pride, 
A matter not of fear but taste. 
When finding mire upon the waste, 
And hating filth, he turned aside." 

Sterling's sudden and last illness morti- 
fied him. He had planned for weeks to be 
host to his close friend, Henry Louis Menc- 
ken. He was inadequate to the task. We had 
planned a dinner for him for Tuesday night, 
and Mencken called at the club with Drew 
Chidester and Gobind Lai to bring him to 
the rendezvous. Mencken smote at the door, 
but there was no answer. 

"It's no use," said the critic; "he has lock- 
ed himself in. He was up and about yester- 
day, but from the look on his face, I fear we 
shan't see him much longer." 


July, 1928 

Participants in the ceremony: Uda Waldrop, Mrs. Uda Waldrop, Haig Patigian, Charles Bulott 

When Mencken learned the news the next 
morning, steel-nerved philosopher and cynic 
though he may be, he was greatly affected. 

"A noble fellow, and I came across the 
continent on purpose to see him." 

Sterling was an artist, among the most 
finished and erudite poets in the country. At 
times he was terribly ashamed of being re- 
garded as a poet. He was proud of his mus- 
cles — and a finely set-up fellow he was — 
up to five years ago, a clever boxer, good at 
sailing a yacht, a mighty walker. And he 
had his practical streak. He knew figures, 
and could draw them up with the skill of a 
chartered accountant. 

When Jack London built the big dam 
across his ranch at Glen Ellen, it was Ster- 
ling who made the plans and ordered the 
materials with such shrewdness that when 
the job was done — and a staunch, handsome 
dam it was — not a pound of nails or a sack 
of concrete was left over. 

His feet were firmly on Plymouth Rock, 

but his head was often in the pretty clouds, 
and he loved to champion the cause of what- 
ever fanatic appealed to his sympathy. He 
upheld the electronic theory of Dr. Abrams 
as the last word in science. He ranked Up- 
ton Sinclair with the noblest thinkers. He 
besought the less impecunious Bohemians to 
invest in some astounding device calculated 
to ward off lightning and reveal oil wells, 
and thereby grow rich. 

He regarded himself in exalted moments 
as a very great poet; but his friendship for 
a local publisher prevented him from send- 
ing his poems to the leading Eastern firms. 
He would sweat and toil over a sonnet for 
months — then give it away to someone. 

From the days when he was king of gaiety 
at Papa Coppa's, "with the jug behind the 
door," and read his merry, not to say Ra- 
belaisian, rhymes, up to a month ago, his 
best conceits were done as gifts for his 
friends. He had a pocketful of happy rhymes 
always. He never got over a horror of selling 

July, 1928 


Ml >A 

■Si Si W 

The memorial tablet: Edward F. O'Day, S. P. Eastman (author of the tribute;, and Haig Patigiar 

them for cash. Less than a hundredth of his 
stuff saw print, and the world lost some 
capital foolery, like the famous "Abalone 

Yet his published output is of respectable 
dimensions. There were "The Testimony of 
the Suns," "The House of Orchids," "Be- 
yond the Breakers," "The Caged Eagle," 
"Sails and Mirage," and the formidable 
dramatic poems, done in the grand "Hy- 
perion" style of Keats, and not approached 
by any other singer in the land, "Truth," 
"Rosamund," and "Lilith," this last first 
printed on butcher paper on a hand press in 

One night, at a memorable studio party 
given to Hugh Walpole, the English novel- 
ist, a happy affair, that lasted until dawn, 
when the windows and the furniture were 
broken, he launched into a serious and im- 
passioned reading of "The Binding of the 
Beast." It was spread-eagle stuff, delivered 

in a high, melancholy scream — and frighten- 
ed everybody for a moment. But that mood 
was soon over, and he joined violently in 
the fun. He boxed terrifically with someone, 
and scored a knockout. Sterling had trained 
with Young Peter Jackson and had sparred 
with such terrors as Young Griffo and the 
Harlem Coffee Cooler. Early the next morn- 
ing — probably after no sleep — he pulled on 
a sweater, donned a cap, and did a heel-and- 
toe to the beach and back with Billie Leon- 
ard, the wrestling professor at the Olympic 

Another paradox : Though one of the most 
melodious of poets, music bored him to 
death. He had a horror of concerts, and a 
recital was a species of Chinese torture to 
him. He didn't mind phonographs so much, 
thought it rather fun if three of four were 
going full blast in one room. He wasn't 
apologetic for his tastes. He apologized for 
only one personal defect, and that was put- 


July, 1928 

ting sugar in his whisky. This used to make 
the late Ned Greenway and Charles Yale 
wonder if at times Sterling really wasn't a 
little bit eccentric. 

Austerity Sterling reserved only for the 
high art of poetry. From the venerable Ina 
Coolbrith, doyenne of Western poets, to the 
youngest versifier in Berkeley, he knew them 
all, personally or through correspondence. 
He sometimes mistook peacocks for lordly 
swans, and declared there was genius when 
sometimes there wasn't any. His judgment 
was swayed too readily by sympathy, whether 
he liked the person or not. Perhaps the last 
letter he wrote was a painfully indited mis- 
sive to a New York publisher on behalf of 
an acquaintance who had something in 
manuscript. Sterling wasn't sure what it 
was, but it was a manuscript anyway, and 
its acceptance might do somebody good. 

Whaling was Sterling's passion, and his 
regret was that he had never once harpooned 
a whale. Grandfather Sterling, a stumpy, 
barrel-shaped down-East Yankee from Sag 
Harbor, had killed more whales than any 
man that had ever lived. That old man was 
his first idol. The second was Father John 
Bannister Tabb, the gentle poet and teacher 
of classics at St. Charles College, in Mary- 
land, who first taught him to write verse. 

It was in 1890 that Sterling first came to 
San Francisco. He became secretary to his 
uncle, F. C. Havens, the capitalist. Two 
years later he began his memorable friend- 
ship with Ambrose Bierce, then a columnist 
on The Examiner, who proclaimed to the 
world the merits of his protege's "A Wine 
of Wizardry." From that time on Sterling 
maintained his rank as one of the finest son- 
neteers of this country. Locally, for familiar- 
ity with Sterling — the athlete, boxer, and 
clubman — forbade illusion, he was regarded 
as the prop and pillar of San Francisco's 
Bohemia. It was perfectly true. 

Three nights a week at Bigin's old Broad- 
way cafe, where artists and writers fore- 
gathered — and Maud Fulton, later the noted 
actress, pounded the piano and darned socks 
and was the young-motherly spirit of the 
place — Sterling held forth. Sculptors from 
Paris, novelists from England, playwrights 
from Vienna, came here with letters to the 

patron saint of San Francisco culture. They 
were greeted, but they were not neglected in 
favor of less fortunate artists who lived in 
bare studios along Montgomery Street. Thev 
had their bread and wine regularly, so long 
as Sterling had a dollar left in his pocket. 

A saintly, whimsical, vagabondish man, 
he had a good deal in him of Villon. I have 
seen him fly into Berserker rages over ab- 
surd trifles. Once he had misplaced a Jap- 
anese toy — a tiny doll, or something — at a 
dinner party, and he wept and moaned until 
it was found. Then at his mother's death 
he comported himself throughout the agony 
with the sweet fortitude of a Christian. 

He would sing pasans of hatred over street- 
cars, the custom of putting garlic in salad, 
on applie pies, hot desserts, or dominoes, 
though he liked games and was one of the 
best chess-players in the city. He was impa- 
tient of fools, but very kind to them when 
they were in trouble. 

Three times he quit San Francisco, but 
the love for the gray and sprawling old city 
drew him back, and for the last seven years 
he never left it except to go to Carmel, his 
second love, where he listened to the wail 
of the curlew through the fog and indited 
his mournful poems on the sounding sea. 

He was a true pagan, a creature torn by 
love of beauty and by pain at the human 
spectacle. He was always at the beck and 
call of his friends. He was part of the soul 
of San Francisco's spiritual and laughter- 
loving life. 

It is impossible to think that he was 
fifty-seven, and is now dead. Another poet 
once said of him: "No matter how long he 
lives, he will die in his thirties; and if he 
lives long enough he will die in his teens." 
The prophecy came to pass. He died a glo- 
rious Dionysian youth. Those who knew him 
will mourn and cry, as nature and brute life 
did when the trembling cry arose, what time 
the world was young and fresh, "Pan is 


* * * 

Lo ! when I hear from voiceless court and fane 
Time's adoration of Eternity — 
The cry of kingdoms past and gods undone — 
I stand as one whose feet at noontide gain 
A lonely shore; who feels his soul set free, 
And hears the blind sea chanting to the sun. 

July, 1928 


Gfeorge Sterling 

By the Editor 

GEORGE STERLING was in his twenty- 
first year when he came to Oakland in 
1890 to work for his uncle, Frank C. 
Havens, of the Realty Syndicate. Oakland, 
Honolulu, Carmel, New York, and San 
Francisco — his life from 
1890 to 1926 was lived 
in these five communi- 
ties. The important in- 
fluences were exerted by 
Oakland, Carmel, and 
San Francisco. 

The formative period 
was perhaps not quite 
completed when George 
came to Oakland. He 
was born in Sag Harbor 
New York, in 1869. 
Speaking of Sag Harbor 
in one of his latest writ- 
ings, he said: "It was, 
and still potentially is, 
a boy's paradise, and it 
was in such favorable 
surroundings that I 
passed all my years, as 
far as the twentieth, 
aside from a few win- 
ters spent at school in 

The school in Mary- 
land where George pass- 
ed several winters was 
St. Charles College at 
Ellicott City, a short dis- 
tance southwest of Bal- 
timore on the Patapsco 
River. Here George had 
as his teacher in English Father John Ban- 
nister Tabb. George was never tired of tell- 
ing how much he owed to Father Tabb, and 
yet I find that to many who knew George 
well the name of Father Tabb conveys no 

John Bannister Tabb was born near 
Richmond, Virginia, in 1845. As a vei T 
young man he served in the Confederate 
navy on a blockade-runner, and was taken 
prisoner. After the war he studied for the 
Episcopalian ministry, but in 1872, on the 
eve of ordination, he joined the Catholic 



The flood of thy waters, Life, gathers me 

O'er my head the wa"Pes of thy sea trample 

in thunder. 
Star after star is gone, from the heavens 

The years that were ha"Pe taken the "poice 

of a dreadful music calling. 

There comes not any to aid, and I stride 

the prouder, 
Torn by billow and angry wind where the 

surf grows louder, — 
Swept to the sands where the foam of 

an ocean reaches, 
And cast like drift that an ocean leases 

on the "Perge of its lonely beaches. 

With the rose of thy kisses, Lote, bless me 

and blind me ! 
Hide me far in a secret place where none 

may find me ! 
Kneel by me! Grant me the grace ofthv 

tender weeping, 
Then say farewell and lea'Pe me alone for 

a thousand years of sleeping/ 

Church, and began studies for the Catholic 
priesthood. He was ordained in 1884 by 
Bishop (afterward Cardinal) Gibbons of 
Baltimore. The rest of his life was spent in 
teaching, while the writing of poetry was his 
avocation. He died in 
1909, having been com- 
pletely blind for two 

All of Father Tabb's 
poems were brief and 
packed with thought, 
and many of them were 
pointed with epigram. 
To find a poet compar- 
able with him in the 
mastery of much in 
little one must go back 
to Herrick. 

I have paused on 
Father Tabb because, 
while editors like Gilder 
of The Century proper- 
ly valued him, he is a 
good deal neglected 
nowadays — and also 
because he was the first 
to perceive that the boy 
George Sterling had the 
soul of a true poet. 
George told me the 
story. Day after day 
Father Tabb would 
come to the play-yard 
while George was busy 
playing football or base- 
ball. The priest would 
bide his time until he 
caught the boy's eye. Then he would beckon, 
and George, no matter how reluctant, would 
obey the summons. He knew what was 
coming. "Take this, George, and memorize 
it. When you have it by heart, come and 
recite it to me. Then you can go back to 
play." One day it would be Keats' son- 
net on Chapman's Homer, another day it 
would be part of Shelley's Skylark, or it 
might be a poem from Wordsworth or Tenny- 
son. In this way Father Tabb awoke the 
boy's soul to the beauty of words, stored his 
mind with masterpieces, and nurtured the 



July, 1928 

gift that was to flower so beautifully, but 
which only a genius like Father Tabb could 
suspect in a child. It was years before George 
realized the full meaning of Father Tabb's 
procedure. In his very first book he has 
these verses, entitled "Reading the Poems of 
Father Tabb": 

"So airy sweet the fragile song, 
I deemed his visions true. 
And roamed Edenic vales along, 
Lit by celestial dew. 

"Illusive gleamed the timeless bow'rs; 
The winds and streams were such 
As Eve had mourned — 

but ah, the flow'rs ! 
Too delicate for touch !' 

George had no inten- 
tion of becoming a poet 
when he first arrived in 
California. He devoted 
himself seriously and 
efficiently to the real- 
estate affairs of his 
uncle's office. But he 
made friends among 
writers and artists, and 
gradually he began to 
understand what was 
his proper life-work. In 
Oakland he met Joaquin 
Miller, Herman Whit- 
aker, Xavier Martinez, 
Jack London, and Am- 
brose Bierce. In Oak- 
land, in 1896, he was 
married. After the mar- 
riage the Sterlings spent some time in Hono- 
lulu. It is permissible for one who knew 
George well, and knew Carrie Sterling also, 
to say a word about their marriage. It lasted 
for some fifteen years and brought both of 
them a great deal of happiness. 

Just how early Joaquin Miller's poetry 
came into George's life we know at first 
hand. In his charming essay on Miller in the 
American Mercury George told how he and 
Roosevelt Johnson sprawled under a wild- 
cherry tree at Sag Harbor and read "Songs 
of the Sierras." And how, when Roosevelt 
Johnson arrived in Oakland a year after 
George, his first question was: "Have you 
gone to see Joaquin Miller yet?" The two 
boys made the pilgrimage together, and for 
George it was the beginning of a lasting 
friendship. Nobody in America had a 



Paths of stone, whereon the weary stray 
From toil to toil, from sin to tawdry sin — 
Farewell awhile ! The silences begin 
To call me to my kingdom far away. 
There sings the lark to welcome back the da\ 
And there the poppies in the moonlight thin 
Incite to dream, and there the pine-boughs 

A fitful music from the wind's delay. 

Farewell ! I hasten to the sapphire South, 
There to be lonely till my goddess come 
To blind me with the kisses of her mouth; 
And I shall wander where the cypress brood: 
And listen as the bees of Carmel hum — 
A faun again in sacred solitudes. 

sounder appreciation of the worth of Joaquin 
Miller's poetry, nor a more balanced under- 
standing of his amiable strength and his 
amiable weakness. 

Jack London, from those early Oakland 
days to his death in 19 16, exercised a strong 
influence on George Sterling. Jack, as we all 
know, found his true footing in life with the 
assistance of Ina Coolbrith, and I like to 
think that the reverence and affection in 
which George always held Miss Coolbrith 
were deepened by his knowledge of what she 
had done for Jack. As London influenced 
Sterling, so Sterling 
influenced London. It 
was the mutual influ- 
ence of a very strong, 
close friendship. It has 
always seemed to me 
that London was the 
dearest to George of all 
his friends. George was 
the only person not re- 
lated to Jack who was 
privileged to be present 
when Jack's ashes were 
entombed in the Valley 
of the Moon. 

But of course the 
strongest literary influ- 
ence of those early Oak- 
land days was Ambrose 
Bierce, whom Sterling 
first met in 1893. Of 
that influence George 
has written : "From the 
beginning of my poetical efforts, I had been 
accustomed to submit to his criticism all 
that I wrote, and though he has been accused 
of laying a hand of ice on my muse, I can 
testify that he gave of his counsel generously 
and with acumen. . . . However, the day 
was to come when I could not assent to all 
his aesthetic suggestions. When my unwill- 
ingness began unmistakably to show itself 
he was not without evidence of pique. And 
yet he, who seldom found occasion for un- 
conditional praise, could give it, and in my 
instance did give it, freely and to excess. 
But in almost all cases his praise bore a 
tonic element; when he gave hone}- it held 
a tincture of quinine. In view of the modern 
movement in poetry, he was not, perhaps, 
the best master I could have known, but I 
cannot look back to the days of my apprenj 

July, 1928 



ticeship without feelings of gratitude. Also 
I have come to agree with many of his sug- 
gestions that I once rejected." 

George's first book, "The Testimony of the 
Suns," was dedicated to Bierce, and through 
the years that followed he found many occa- 
sions to sing and speak in admiration and 
defense of his master. And when a selection 
of Bierce's letters was published by The 
Book Club of California in 1922, it was 
George who wrote the prefatory memoir. We 
learn there that Bierce's criticism saved the 
youthful poet from pub- 
lishing many an imma- 
ture attempt. 

Those Bierce letters 
give us many bright lit- 
tle insights into the 
progress of a poet be- 
ginning to try his wings. 
In 1 90 1 we find George 
making his first ac- 
quaintance, at Bierce's 
suggestion, with Sted- 
man's American An- 
thology. We find Bierce 
instructing him in the 
various rhyme schemes 
of the sonnet. We find 
him introducing George 
to Roget's "Thesaurus." 
We find Bierce getting 
his "Memorial Day" 
published in the Wash- 
ington Post — in all like- 
lihood the first publica- 
tion of a Sterling poem. 

A year later Bierce is writing from Wash- 
ington to say that George is advancing in 
poetry "at a stupendous rate." Bierce has 
just read the "Testimony of the Suns" in 
manuscript. "I dare not trust myself to say 
what I think of it. In manner it is great, but 
the greatness of the theme! — that is beyond 
anything." When the book appeared in 1903 
his praise was more significant, because he 
had read and reread the "Testimony" and 
found it greater than he had thought it in 

By January, 1904, Sterling was writing 
"A Wine of Wizardry. "Bierce writes to him: 
"You whet my appetite for that new poem. 
The lines 

'The blue-eyed vampire, sated at her feast, 
Smiles bloodily against the leprous moon' 



you that pass, you that come and go, 
How far is the horizon at the end, 
As mocking sky and barring ocean blend 
In mystery, and Time's brief afterglow 
Is on the Islands vie shall ne>er know, 
And alien are the stranger and the friend 
What peaks are those vie dreamt vie should 

ascend ? 
What seas, vihere soon the winds of night 
shall blow ? 

1 too am of your throng, passers-by I — 
This changing hope and memory that is I, 
This sense of hunger that we call the soul. 
I too ha^e sought and questioned and ha^e 

Only that sky-line whose mirages bound 
The many wanderers and the single goal. 

give me the shivers. Gee! they're awful!" 
A little later he received the completed 
poem, and wrote to George: "I hardly know 
how to speak of it. No poem in English of 
equal length has so bewildering a wealth of 
imagination. Not Spenser himself has flung 
such a profusion of jewels into so small 
a casket. Why, man, it takes away the 

Bierce submitted it to Harper's Magazine, 
the Atlantic, Scribner's, The Century, the 
Metropolitan, and Booklovers . All rejected 
it. It finally saw the 
light in the Cosmopoli- 
tan in the summer of 
1907. In the same issue 
there was a critique 
by Bierce beginning: 
"Whatever length of 
days may be accorded 
to this magazine, it is 
not likely to do any- 
thing more notable in 
literature than it ac- 
complished in this issue- 
by the publication of 
Mr. George Sterling's 
poem, 'A Wine of Wiz- 
ardry'." It is not neces- 
sary to follow the his- 
tory of that great poem. 
It carried George's fame 
across the Rocky Moun- 
tains, "whose passes," 
as Bierce says, "are so 
vigilantly guarded by 
cismontane criticism." 
It was in 1905, I think, that Sterling 
moved to Carmel. Monterey he had already 
been taught to love by Charles Warren Stod- 
dard and Charles Rollo Peters. If I am not 
mistaken, it was Rollo Peters who gave him 
the thought of moving to Carmel. George 
was second of all the Carmelites, Mary Aus- 
tin alone having preceded him. He lived 
there continuously for at least six years, and 
frequently returned afterward. Of the in- 
fluence Carmel exerted on Sterling's poetry 
it is enough to say here that if you subtracted 
the inspiration of Carmel from his published 
volumes, you would take away much of his 
most significant work. It is not too much to 
assert that without Carmel George Sterling 
would have been a different poet from the 
one we came to know and value. 



July, 1928 

Carmel's debt to George Sterling is just 
as great. The late Frank Powers discovered 
Carmel, but George made it known through- 
out America. Distinguished men and women 
went to visit him there, and departed en- 
thusiastic about its natural beauty. George 
often said that the writers of Carmel were 
overrated and its scenery underrated. "You 
get so used to this pea-soup bay," he said to 
me, referring to our harbor, "that you forget 
what blue water is like." At Carmel George 
went back to sports of his Sag Harbor boy- 
hood. He hunted, fished, 
walked, and swam. He 
was a strong swimmer, 
passionately fond of the 
water, and to my mind 
"Beyond the Breakers," 
an ecstatic celebration 
of swimming, is one of 
his finest poems. 

Some time after re- 
turning from Carmel to 
San Francisco George 
went to try his fortunes 
in New York. "Now 
that I have got what 
has been called 'the 
poison of art' out of my 
system, I shall try some 
prose, some short sto- 
ries," he said. He stayed 
in New York about 
fourteen months, and 
was glad to return to 
San Francisco. He had 
not the knack of writing stories, although his 
mind was fertile in the devising of plots 
which he passed along to Jimmy Hopper, 
Harry Leon Wilson, and other friends. Some 
may recall a very striking story of Wilson's 
called "The Boy Who Counted a Million"— 
it was based on an experience of George's at 
Sag Harbor. 

In his late years in San Francisco George 
began writing prose — and very fine prose 
it was indeed. In 19 13 when General Lucius 
Harwood Foote died, George wrote at my 
request a critique of his poetry. It was, I 
think, the earliest critical work he did, and 
if so it had the importance of a first step 
along a literary path that he learned to tread 
with sureness and distinction. His apprecia- 
tion of Clark Ashton Smith, his essay on 
the modern trend of poetry, his tribute to 



Sandalled with morning and with evening 

Draw near me, Lady of ascendant pain, 
Whose hair has touched me in the twilight 

Whose home is where unchanging faces are. 
You wait me where immortal feet ha^oe trod, 
And in your toice is music not-to-be, 
And in your eyes the night of mystery. 
Old as the silence on the lips of God. 

There is no treason in your gi^en word. 
Tour lo"t>e is past all lote, all yain delights, 
And holy is the music I ha°pe heard. 
' 7 is not the Cytherean that shall lead 
To stranger seas and unimagined heights, 
Nor stand in flame beside me at my need. 

Yeats' "Lake Isle of Innisfree," his delight- 
ful essays on Bierce and Miller, and his 
posthumous article on Robinson Jeffers re- I 
mind us that the best poets frequently write I 
the best prose. 

It is a characteristic not to be overlooked 
in estimating George that very much of his 
prose was concerned with the praise of other 
poets. A great many poets lack either the 
time or the inclination to celebrate their fel- 1 
lows. Not so with George. He had a most 
generous attitude toward all of those who 

were trying to express I 
themselves in his own I 
medium. Many hours 
that might have been 
given to creative work 
he devoted to reading 
manuscripts and to 
seeking that something | 
— it was often a very 
little something — which 
would permit him to 
write a word of encour- 
agement to the beginner 
on Helicon. 

He was a deep and 
all-consuming reader, 
and in particular of I 
poetry. He knew more 
about the English-writ- 
ing poets — great and 
humble, classic and 
contemporaneous — than 
any other man I ever 
met. He had traced all 
the streams of California poetry from the 
beginning, and to hear him speak of Pollock, I 
Stoddard, Harte, Miller, Miss Coolbrith, I 
Bierce, Ridge, Realf, Sill, O'Connell, Foote, 
Robertson, Josaphare, Binckley, Gibbs, 
Scheffauer, and all the rest down to Jeffers, 
was to realize very vividly that California 
poetry might boast a tradition and a signifi- 
cance worthy of study. He of all men might 
have written the critical history of Califor- 1 
nia poetry. In many places, in dealing with 
many names, he would have transcended his 
subject — but that is true of all great critical 
studies of poetry — and there would have 
emerged from his work not only a true un- : 
derstanding of the poets we have had, but a 
definite inspiration for our Californian 
poets of tomorrow. 

To the poets of [Concluded on page ij] 

July, 1928 



San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 

Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. VII. 

July, 1928 

No. 3 

COMPLETED in record time, the new 
million-dollar San Andres pipe-line of 
Spring Valley Water Company was brought 
into service at the beginning of July, when 
twelve million gallons of water from Lake 
San Andres flowed through it for eleven 
miles to the Laguna Honda distributing 
reservoir. In spite of rain and traffic diffi- 
culties encountered within the city, the line 
was finished in four months' actual working 

The pipe-line is of steel fifty-four inches 
in diameter and has a capacity of thirty mil- 
lion gallons daily. It was made in San Fran- 
cisco by the Western Pipe and Steel Com- 
pany and contains 7800 tons of steel plate. 
The Youdall Construction Company exca- 
vated 96,790 yards of earth to receive the 
huge pipe. Between Lake San Andres and 
Baden the Company had to purchase 18,000 
feet of right-of-way. At the lakeside the 
pipe pierces a tunnel 800 feet long. 

Spring Valley Water Company now has 
pipe-line capacity into the city of eighty 
million gallons daily, as against fifty mil- 
lion gallons daily before the new line was 
completed. There were several days in June 
when the city used fifty-five million gallons 
of water, or five million more than the ca- 
pacity of its pipe-lines at that time. So the 
completion of the new line is very timely. It 
will improve pressure conditions over a wide 
area, as Laguna Honda Reservoir, where 
the line terminates, supplies one-half the 
population of the city. The line was planned 
and built under direction of George A. 
Elliott, Chief Engineer. 

The Railroad Commission recognized the 
pressing necessity for this line and formally 
authorized it. It gives Spring Valley great 
satisfaction to have it completed in time to 
meet the situation which was foreseen. The 

Company realized that it would be needed in 
July, and therefore pressed the work to its 

* * * 

Cjeorge Sterling 

[Continued from page 12] California who 
began to test their singing qualities during 
his time, he hearkened very attentively. It 
never occurred to him that the youngster just 
raising his voice in song might be a competi- 
tor for his own laurels. George knew he was 
a poet — he took his poetry very seriously — 
but he never dreamed of laurel. There was in 
him no vanity of achievement. For him the 
poets were a brotherhood — he reached out an 
eager hand to welcome a new singer. That 
poets like Christian Binckley, Ralph Gibbs, 
Flora McDonald Shearer, and Nora May 
French died before finding complete utter- 
ance was to George a very real tragedy. He 
made Clark Ashton Smith articulate, and 
found for him those paths of encouragement 
that the inspired Auburn boy would never 
have found alone. He was so whole-hearted- 
ly pleased when Robinson Jeffers command- 
ed an audience after years of effort that he 
could not bring himself to express publicly 
his instinctive disapproval of the themes 
which finally drew attention to this strange, 
powerful singer of Carmel. 

Let Sterling's poetry be — our children and 
our children's children will have their say 
about it. Our estimate is unimportant. But 
we turn naturally to his poetry to express 
him in terms of what he means to us, and I 
think of those lines he wrote in his noble 
"Ode to Shelley," lines inscribed upon 
Spring Valley's memorial, lines so true of 
George himself. 

Ox the slope of a San Francisco hill, surrounded by 
shrubs and flowers, is the latest memorial San Francisco 
has erected to one of its literary sons. The George Sterling 
memorial bench is not in a city park and does not speak 
of an official recognition of his place in letters. It is a 
larger tribute, it seems to me, because it is a natural 
one, from the hearts of friends. All in all, perhaps, there 
is no memorial anywhere just like this, for the men who 
gave it are of the group commonly called hard-headed 
followers of big business. By them Sterling, the symbolic, 
high-soaring poet, was dearly loved. Does it mean he 
spoke a language to be understood by the practical, or 
that there is a wealth of poetic appreciation in many men 
associated with industry. Follow Sterling's career, note 
the friends who were his, and you will find him moving 
simply with the bare-elbowed Bohemian and the square- 
jawed captain of industry. He did not ask for labels and 
he did not judge by the ordinary standards. Maybe that 
is the secret of his popularity — maybe that is the reason 
that in the Spring Valley's property, close by a reservoir 
which reflects the trees and the sky, is the memorial to 
the singer who has fled afar— Oakland Tribune. 



July, 1928 

<^4n Authentic "Poet 

By Willard Huntington Wright 
[S. F. Bulletin, May ig, 1918] 

THE American Philistine's idea of a 
poet is a man who wears his hair to his 
shoulders, who dresses in black, baggy 
clothes which shine scintillantly at each an- 
atomical angle, who drinks green absinthe, 
who adorns himself in a flowing Elbert Hub- 
bard tie reaching to the pants' line, who lives 
in an attic lighted by a candle inserted in a 
wine-bottle, who is too lazy to work and has 
taken up poetry in order to avoid more 
strenuous labor, who is something of a luna- 
tic and a good deal of an egotist, who is ut- 
terly lacking in even the most rudimentary 
practicality, who tends toward effeminacy, 
who spends most of his time gazing raptur- 
ously into the interstellar spaces, who be- 
lieves in free-love and wears tortoiseshell 
glasses. Such is the poet of bourgeois fable. 

But the authentic poet is quite a different 
being. Regard George Sterling, for example. 
He has none of the characteristics, habits, or 
practices of the imaginary poet recorded 
above, except that he might, on occasion, be 
induced to partake of absinthe. He lives at 
a fashionable club, patronizes the barber reg- 
ularly, eats lavishly and well, has experi- 
enced the conventionalism of marriage, 
dresses like his fellow men, and might, in a 
pinch, pass for a bank cashier. 

Sterling, withal, is one of the most capable 
and talented of modern poets. He stands in 
the front rank of American prosodists, and 
his presence in San Francisco has added no 
little fame to this city. His name and his 
verse are known to every book-lover in the 
country, and the circle of his friends and ac- 
quaintances is very wide, for he has not only 
the capacity for friendship, but the colorful 
nature and the attractive personality which 
draw people to him and hold them. The 
Bohemian Club would have to change its 
name should Sterling resign from member- 

It is difficult to portray in words a man as 
complex and volatile as Sterling. His char- 

acter is at once simple and intricate. He has 
his superficial side, but this is not the real 
Sterling; and even this interior is made up 
of a multiplicity of details. He is a paradox 
in many ways, and to say that he is full of 
the most amazing contradictions is only to 
hint at the strange and varied combinations 
which go to make him up. 

In Sterling's ancestry we find an explana- 
tion for this intermingling of diverse ele- 
ments. On his maternal side he comes from 
a long line of buccaneers, seafarers, and 
fighters. His grandfather was Wickham 
Havens, the famous whaler, who had a rec- 
ord of 965 big whales. (The hundreds of 
small whales which fell victim to his prowess 
he did not deign to tabulate.) There was 
vitality, adventurousness, and general cus- 
sedness in this branch of his heritage. 

On the other hand, his paternal fore- 
fathers were clergymen and lawyers and 
educators. They were purely of intellectual 
stock, with no stomach for harpooning 
whales or hunting wild game. Sterling is an 
amalgam of these two hereditary factors. 
The former gave him his strength and vi- 
tality, his robustness and love of the sea and 
the outdoors. The latter conferred on him his 
intellectual leanings, his sensitivity to beau- 
ty, and his instinct to create literature. 

Sterling was born at Sag Harbor, L. I., 
nearly fifty years ago; but it is impossible to 
think of him as anything but a very young 
man. He has the nature, the instincts, the 
mind, the enthusiasm, and the appearance of 
youth. No matter how long he lives, he will 
die in his thirties ; and if he lives long enough 
he will die in his teens. 

Sterling looks like a youthful Dante. He 
has the profile and the head that are placed 
on the Dante busts which the Italian clay- 
workers back East carry from door to door 
in baskets. His eyes are green and mellowed 
with a constitutional good nature; and his 
eyebrows are thick and on the point of be- 

July, 1928 



coming shaggy. His hair, once dark brown, 
is beginning to turn gray. It, too, is thick and 
has a natural marcel, despite its irregular 
and at times unkempt condition. A sort of 
bang, profuse and circular, habitually covers 
a broad, flat and precipitously sloping fore- 
head. His mouth is a little full; his chin 
narrow and square ; and 
his ears are small and 
set close to his head. 

Sterling's nose, how- 
ever, is the most con- 
j spicuous and individual 
of his features. It is very 
narrow, and, though 
pointed, has a decided 
Roman cast. Further- 
more, its general direc- 
tion is almost vertical. 
It is an unusual nose, 
highly sensitive and dis- 
tinctive, and goes far to- 
ward achieving his good 
looks. For Sterling is 
handsome; even his 
enemies and creditors 
would admit that fact. 
But his is not a smooth, 
oval handsomeness, of 
the kind we are apt to 
associate with poets. 
Sterling is handsome in 
a rugged classical sense. 
There are archaic Greek 
heads for which he 
might have posed. 

As to dress, Sterling 
is an eclectic. But, in 
any event, he is non- 
poetical in his sartorial 
selectiveness. He wears 
stiff collars and four- 
in-hand ties of a some- 
what gay coloration. His 
shirts are of silk, and 
they are adorned, as a rule, with fancy — 
though not too fancy — patterns. His suitings 
are quiet, with a leaning toward grays. Only 
in his vests does one sense the touch of eccen- 
tricity. These vests have an almost actorial 
atmosphere about them; they are light and 
gay, taped along the edges, and cut in a 
rather low A'. 

Sterling was educated in the public schools 
of Sag Harbor, and at St. Charles College, 



My grandsire sailed three years from home. 
And slew unmoved the sounding whale.- 
Here on a -windless beach I roam 
And natch far out the hardy sail. 

The lions of the surf that cry 
Upon this lion-colored shore 
On reefs of midnight met his eye.- 
He knew their fangs as I their roar. 

My grandsire sailed uncharted seas, 
And toll of all their leagues he took.- 
I scan the shallow bays at ease, 
And tell their colors in a book. 

The anchor-chains his music made 
And wind in shrouds and running-gear.- 
The thrush at dawn beguiles my glade, 
And once, 'tis said, I woke to hear. 

My grandsire in his ample fist 
The long harpoon upheld to men.- 
Behold obedient to my wrist 
A grey gulfs-feather for my pen I 

Upon my grandsire' s leathern cheek 
Fi^e zones their bitter bronze had set.- 
Some day their hazards I will seek, 
I promise me at times. Not yet. 

I think my grandsire now would turn 
A mild but speculative eye 
On ?ne, my pen and its concern, 
Then gaze again to sea — and sigh. 

Ellicott City, Md. He took no degree — a fact 
of which he is a little proud. Indeed, he was 
constantly on the point of being expelled for 
one deviltry or another. And much of this 
diablerie remains with him today, taking the 
form of hilarity and play. He likes to dance, 
is fond of masquerades and gay gatherings, 
and finds enjoyment in 
all manner of pranks. 
There is much of the 
eternal boy in Sterling 
— the box's impulsive- 
ness and spontaneity, 
the boy's care-free and 
inconsequential spirit. 
He possesses the instinct 
and capacity for having 
a good time, and takes 
few things seriously. 

For twelve years after 
leaving college he was 
secretary to his uncle, 
having immediately 
come to California when 
out of school. In 1908, 
when he was receiving 
one hundred dollars a 
week, he threw clerical 
work to the four winds, 
moved to Carmel, and 
settled down to the busi- 
ness of being a poet. 
And not only did he be- 
come a poet and help 
give Carmel its fame as 
a hotbed of literary ac- 
tivity; but he soon be- 
came one of Carmel's 
centers of attractiveness 
and the generalissimo 
of the anti-Puritan fac- 
tion of that community. 
In fact, it was Sterling 
who kept the eminently 
respectable literary la- 
dies who lived there in a constant state of 
psychic and physical shock. And it was 
Sterling who gave Carmel its reputation as 
a wooing center. It is now a blameless 

But all the time he was seriously writing 
good poetry. His first book, "The Testimony 
of the Suns," appeared in 1904, and Am- 
brose Bierce was the first man to recognize 
its undeniable merits. But it was not until 



July, 1928 

"A Wine of Wizardry" appeared that Ster- 
ling came into his own. This poem was pub- 
lished in The Cosmopolitan, and it sold out 
the whole issue in two weeks. It was Bierce, 
again, who told the country what a great 
poem it was; and gradually the sluggish 
critics began to awaken to the fact that a new 
poet of a high order had appeared on the 
Western horizon. 

Since then, Sterling has written constantly 
and has issued many books of poetry. The 
bulk of his poems, however, have never been 
published. They are the personal and inti- 
mate expressions of his amatory adventures 
and emotions, and are to appear after his 
death. Recently he has taken to writing 
drama, and his "Lilith," a four-act dramatic 
poem in seventeen scenes, is to be published 
in the autumn. 

Sterling's best friend was Jack London, 
and London's best friend was Sterling. Of 
this friendship Sterling is prouder than of 
any other event in his life; and he likes to 
tell of his introducing London to the alco- 
holic pharmacopoeia. When Sterling met 
London, the latter knew only rum, gin, 
whisky, and beer, regarding claret as a re- 
finement and port wine as effeminate. Ster- 
ling, a connoisseur in beverages of all kinds, 
and an expert in febrifuges, proceeded to 
initiate London into the mysteries of obscure, 
rare, fancy and complicated potations. 

Sterling, as I have said, is a curious mix- 
ture of qualities. He is something of a bar- 
barian, and I once referred to him in an 
article as a "wassail bard." But his intellect 
is highly refined, and his poetry has an air 
of subtle erudition and finish such as is rare- 
ly found in American verse. Again, Sterling 
cannot resist the lure of Bohemia, and his 
evening headquarters is Bigin's Bologna res- 
taurant, the center of the spaghetti-and-wine 
circuit. But, unlike every other Bohemian 
in Christendom, Sterling is a lover of sports, 
exercises constantly and walks miles every 
day. His favorite sport is swimming, and he 
is an excellent amateur boxer and athlete. 
. . . Reconcile these facts if you can ! 

And Sterling's nature is quite as contra- 
dictory as his instincts and habits. He is the 
mildest of men and the most generous of 
campanions, yet he has bitter enemies. As 
one of his closest friends said: "He is in- 

capable of hate. If his worst enemy should 
be hungry George would give him his last 
cent." And yet he is capable of inanimate 
hatred. He will soar into a Berserker rage 
over some trivial thing. He regards dominoes 
as the vilest game ever invented by men. And 
his pet aversions are Puritans, the Sutter- 
street car line, professors of English litera- 
ture, mysticism, rhubarb pie, women who 
leave powder on his lapel, popular songs, 
water, the Saturday Evening Post, hot des- 
serts, free verse, pro-Germans, and the Sau- 
salito ferry. When thinking of any one of 
these things he flies into a state of passion- 
ate hatred. 

Sterling, after fourteen months in New 
York, shook Carmel from his system forever 
and settled in San Francisco. He has been 
living here for years, and has a deep love for 
the city. He intends to write a long poem 
about San Francisco which will, in a way, be 
its literary monument. I don't think anything 
could entice him away from the city. He 
has become a part of its life and has taken 
on its color. And San Franciscans have a 
right to be grateful for this gift, for Sterling 
is one of our great poets. 

To 'Remember Gjeorge 

[Continued from page j] Harry Howland, 
Miss Pauline Jacobsen, Mrs. Annie Laurie, 
Austin Lewis, Mrs. Guy H. Liliencrantz, 
Mrs. Charmian K. London, Mr. and Mrs. 
Xavier Martinez, Gabriel Moulin, L. C. 
Mullgardt, Mr. and Mrs. Athol McBean, 
John McLaren, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Nash, 
Mr. and Mrs. Haig Patigian, Gottardo Piaz- 
zoni, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Pike, Mr. and Mrs. 
Richard Prosser, Joseph Redding, Dr. Au- 
relia Reinhardt, A. M. Robertson, Harry 
Robertson, Mr. and Mrs. George Rolph, Ot- 
tarino Ronchi, Mrs. F. W. Rounthwaite, Ed- 
ward F. Schneider, Rudy Seiger, Dr. J. Wil- 
son Shiels, W. H. Smith, Jr., Mrs. Frank 
Spring, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Sweeney, Henry 
H. Taylor, Mrs. Rose Travis, James Tufts, 
Mr. and Mrs. Uda Waldrop, Carl I. Wheat, 
C. E. S. Wood, Mr. and Mrs. W. R. K. 

Spring Valley Water Company 

Benjamin Bangs W. B. Bourn 

S. P. Eastman Sidney M. Ehrman E. L. Eyre Robert G. Hooker 

Frank B. King E. J. McCutchen Chas. K. McIntosh 

L. F. Monteagle Warren Olney, Jr. A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 

Chairman of the Board 



S. P. Eastman SECRETARY 


E. J. McCutchen TREASURER 


G. A. Elliott 

John J. Sharon 

H. M. Kinsey 

Benjamin Bangs 


Assistant Auditor 

Chief Engineer 

John J. Sharon 
D. W. Cooper 

Water Sales 
Department : 

Assistant Manager 

V. E. Perry 
A. M. Cooley 

Assistant Chief Engineer T. W. Espy 

Supervisor, Consumers'Accounts 

W. D. Ryder 

Office Engineer I. E. Flaa 

Supervisor, Collections 

A. W. Till 

Manager, Docks and Shipping 

H. Templeman 

Superintendent, City 
Distribution George w. Pracy 

Superintendent Agricultural 

F. W. Roeding 

Assistant Superintendent 0. G. Goldman 

Assistant Superintendent 

C. H. Schween 

Foreman, Service and Meter Joseph Kappeler 

Assistant to Superintendent 

Frank Peters 

Foreman, City Distribution J. J. Miley 

Director of Publicity 

Edward F. O'Day 

Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis 
Assistant Superintendent S. M. Millard 

Manager Real Estate 

Theodore J. Wilder 

Superintendent Alameda System a. \v. Ebright 

Purchasing Agent 

J. H. Le Pla 











From Ode to Shelley 
by George Sterling 

A J < W**& i- 


O most mighty, omnipotent, and good Lord, 
To Thee belong praise, honor, and all benediction! 
To Thee alone, Most High, are all these due. 
There is no man worthy Thy name to spea\. 
Praise be to Thee, my Lord, with all Thy creatures! 
Especially for Messer Sun, our brother, 
Who gives us light in the day; 

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor. 
Of Thee, Most High, he is the sign. 
Praise be to Thee for Sister Moon and the Stars, 
Which Thou madest for heaven, clear, rare, and beautiful! 
Praise to Thee, my Lord, for Brother Wind, 
For air and clouds, for quiet time and stormy, 
By which Thou dost sustain all Thy creatures! 
Praise to Thee, my Lord, for Sister Water, 
Useful and humble, and precious and chaste! 
Praise to Thee, my Lord, for Brother Fire, 
Who lightens up the night, 

And is handsome and joyous and robust and able ! 
Praise to Thee, my Lord, for our sister and mother, 
The Earth, who brings forth varied fruit and herbs, bright'hued, 
Who sustains and \eeps us. 

Praise to Thee for those who forgive for love of Thee 
Sustaining afflictions and tribulations! 
Blessed be those who \eep themselves in peace! 
By Thee, Most High, will they be crowned at last. 
Praise to Thee, my Lord, for Sister Death, 
From whom no man can flee! 
But woe to those who die in mortal sin! 
Blessed are those who do Thy most holy will! 
To them the second death can bring no evil. 
Praise ye, and bless my Lord, and than\ Him, and serve Him 
with great humility! 

Canticle of the Creatures 
By St. Francis of Assisi, a.d. i 182' 1226 

'AN Francisco W^ter 


Spring Valley Water Company 


Volume VII 

October, i 92 

Number 4 

<lA ? He a for a £tatue of <§t. J'rancis 

Bv the Editor 

OCTOBER fourth is the feast day of 
gentle St. Francis of Assisi, and there- 
fore too the special feast day of our city of 
San Francisco, which was named in his 
honor. It seemed fitting, therefore, to devote 
considerable space in this October issue of 
San Francisco Water to the hoi}- man of 
the thirteenth century who has been called 
"Everybody's Saint Francis,'' but who is, in 
a special sense, our Saint Francis. 

And why not seize this occasion to renew 
the plea so often made by Bishop William 
Ford Nichols of revered memory for a statue 
in San Francisco of San Francisco's patron 
saint ? Bishop Nichols never tired of putting 
forward that suggestion, and he urged it with 
gentle but special force during that period of 
artistic awakening that preceded the opening 
of our great World's Fair. Bishop Nichols 
was a great citizen as well as a great church- 
man. The influence of his character and per- 
sonality left San Francisco a better city than 
he found it. Doubtless he would have had his 
way in this matter of a statue for Saint 
Francis had not the energies of his later years 
been centered, perforce, upon that great ca- 
thedral program that is now going happily 
forward under his distinguished successor in 
the episcopate. 

Bishop Nichols' vision was of a statue of 
heroic size crowning Lincoln Park and 
breathing a benediction upon travelers com- 
ing to us from the Orient. It was a Yision 
Splendid, and should not be permitted to 
fade away. We have great sculptors here, 
and unless we have been misunderstood, we 

have that sense of spiritual values that gives 
a community a soul. 

The beautiful statue of St. Francis shown 
on our cover is known to all who have visited 
the Umbrian town of Assisi. It is, of course, 
exclusively religious in its feeling — its ap- 
peal is to the devotional side of human na- 
ture. This is not the sort of statue that Bish- 
op Nichols desired in San Francisco. He 
imagined St. Francis holding aloft a beacon 
to symbolize "Character Enlightening the 
World." It was a sound civic conception. It 
would command the respect of all citizens 
and all travelers, no matter what their form 
of religious worship, for Francis of Assisi is 
universally accepted as one of the principal 
figures of modern civilization. 

All San Franciscans must know the story 
of how, when Padre Junipero Serra men- 
tioned to de Galvez that no California Mis- 
sion had yet been named in honor of the 
Franciscan founder, the general replied with 
a smile: "If St. Francis wants a mission 
named after him, let him lead u< to his port."' 
The port of St. Francis was found, and the 
landmark that we call Mission Dolores is 
more correctly the Mission of St. Francis of 
Assisi. It was solemnly dedicated on the 
feast day of its patron in 1776, five hundred 
and fifty years after his death. 

Shall we add a very special plea? It is 
written of St. Francis that he so loved the 
loveliness of water that "whenever he did 
wash his hands, he would make choice of 
such a place, as that the water which fell 
should not be trodden by his feet.'" 


October, 1928 

The "Birthplace of \§t. J^rancis 

[From "Some World-Circuit Wanderings," published in San Francisco, 191 3 \ 

By Bishop William Ford Nichols 

YOU see Assisi long before you reach it, 
and it has an interest, aside from its 
association with St. Francis, in that it is 
typical of those Italian towns which, like 
individual castles, were built on command- 
ing eminences for purposes of defense and 
good sentineling against neighboring towns 
which might have unneighborly invasion and 
loot in mind upon occasion. And the history 
of Assisi is troubled with the record of such 
visitations from Perugia and other points, to 
say nothing of passing armies from afar. 
Again and again has the hill which the mod- 
ern traveler climbs to reach Assisi had its 
steep slopes trodden by the feet of attacking 
foes, who were often repulsed, sometimes 
successful, but always found the natural de- 
fenses of the heights formidable, and once, 
at least, were only able to gain entrance by 
making use of an exposed city drain. 

It is, however, not the town's site, but the 
town's Saint, that draws thither the greater 
number of people who go there from all parts 
of the world. The register of the Hotel Su- 
basio shows many names from California 
and San Francisco, but the wonder is that 
many more from the state dotted with the 
names and prizing among its traditions and 
exhibits the Missions of the Order of St. 
Francis, do not make it part of their itinerary 
abroad to go to Assisi. And surely no San 
Franciscan who feels the indefinable charm 
and spell of his city would willingly forgo 
the opportunities to see the birthplace and 
home of the Saint after whom the city is 
called. For it need raise no clash of contro- 
versy to waive all questions about which men 
differ as to the cult or legends of the Saint, 
and to recognize his high and holy character 
and the acknowledged sway of his power for 
good upon his generation, and indeed, as 
some estimates of it by those not of his own 
communion do not hesitate to say, upon the 
modern world. Take this, for example, from 
a Church of England writer, Canon Knox- 
Little, in his Lectures on St. Francis of 
Assisi: "One of the matters of keenest in- 
terest in St. Francis is the way in which his 
work was a wonderful step in God's provi- 

dential order for fashioning and forwarding ! 1 
the civilization of the West." 

"Francis felt, under the teaching of the 
Hoi) Spirit, that men needed a fresh start; 
he saw and felt also that as in the first age 
so in the opening of the thirteenth century, I 
nothing could give that fresh start but real ' 1 
reproduction and presentation before their 1:1 
eyes of the life of Jesus Christ. It is this 
which marks him after St. Paul probably 
the most remarkable missionary and apostle i 
that the world has ever seen." Matthew Ar- ] 
nold says of him: "He brought religion to 1 
the people." And citations of like large and !} 
discriminating tribute might be made from j 
other writers who would be far from "seeing | 
eye to eye" in all that has grown around his 
ardent cult. Suppose we take, if you please, 
nothing more than a citizen's view of the 
vital need of righteousness and reality of 
self-forgetful service to our fellowmen, that 
sense of a municipal ideal would be well em- 
bodied in a worthy memorial of our city's 
Patron Saint, like those statues in the Acrop- 
olis of old, colossal and majestic on some 
commanding height. What better feature 
could there be for the Panama-Pacific Ex- 
position of 19 1 5 than the unveiling of a 
monument of that character ? It would stand 
for the sentiment that, however far we are 
from its realization — and all things consid- 
ered, we ourselves, to say nothing of the 
opinions of kind friends elsewhere who read 
scare-heads about our city doings, would 
hardly feel that we have yet anything like a 
municipal "halo" claim — we do have an 
ideal. Of all the exposition of world welfare 
at a world's fair, we still believe the prime 
exhibit must be the sort of humanity the age 
can show. Let the Golden Gate, as well as 
"The Narrows," have its symbolic figure at 
a portal of our country. If our national me- 
tropolis has "Liberty Enlightening the 
World," why not at the new era of the great- 
est ocean of the world, as it opens out to 
history-making between the Orient and Oc- 
cident that is almost beyond the dream of 
men today, — why not have a new kind of 
flamen grasped by St. Francis' hand to sig- 

TOBER, I928 


nify "Character Enlightening the World"? 
It would give a high "world genius'' to the 
I whole Exposition. 

All this, of course, is a digression from 
travel — or rather, a traveling home in 
thought, which is, after all, really anything 
but a digression to a world-wanderer. But as 
it comes from a zest in the matter freshened 
by the visit to Assisi, so it may point the pur- 
pose of some reader not to pass by Assisi the 
next time he goes abroad, if he has not al- 
ready been there. 

After leaving the train and before going 
up the ascent to Assisi proper, the guide 
takes you to the scene of some of the most 
notable events in the career of St. Francis. 
The Portiuncula is the name given to the 
little sanctuary where St. Francis received 
the call to the religious life, where he found- 
ed the Order of Friars Minor, where he 
founded the "Poor Clares," or Order for 
Women under S. Clara, and where he re- 
solved to found what is known as the "Third 
Order,*' for those not cloistered. The small 
stone shrine known as St. Marv-of-the- 
Angels has been embellished richly with 
mosaics and dowered with costly lamps and 
other offerings and is said to go back in its 
origin to the middle of the fourth century, 
and St. Benedict in the sixth century is 
credited with its enlargement — then finally 
having its restoration by St. Francis' own 
hands at the beginning of the thirteenth cen- 
tury. It seems all the more minute because 
over and around it and dwarfing it stands 
the great church — the "majestic cupola" of 
which is directly over the Portiuncula — built 
by Pope Pius V in 1569. This church also 
encloses the cell, converted into a chapel, in 
which St. Francis died. And in the adjoin- 
ing garden there is a third sanctuary built 
over the hut which St. Francis usually in- 

These and other interesting momorials 
on the heights of Assisi seem to be free from 
those doubts of identification which some- 
times one finds so hard to dissolve in the 
quest for genuine antiquity. And so you 
take the card the kind monk gives you, be- 
lieving that the bits from shrine, door or cell, 
pulpit and garden, tiny as most of these bits 
are, are "the real things." 

Going up the grade the drive opens out 
fine vistas of the surrounding country, in- 
cluding the outlines on the distant hill of the 

old-time rival and assailant, Perugia, left 
for the morrow's visit. The old Convent of 
Santa Clara is first shown not materially 
different from its appearance in her time, 
though now occupied by some of the Brothers, 
the Sisters having their larger convent, to 
which we next went. There it i- an expe- 
rience unique, with mixed impressions, to be 
led silently down into a dark crypt deep in 
the earth where a Sister, half-hidden in the 
gloom, with her mien well in keeping with 
all the surroundings, soon reverently adjusts 
lights so that suddenly illumined before your 
eyes, lying habited in her coffin, is revealed 
from its side behind glass what is left of the 
mortal body of Santa Clara, laid to its rest 
between seven and eight centuries ago. Leav- 
ing that and passing an old Temple of 
Minerva as a reminder of still remoter cen- 
turies, you soon find yourself at the door of 
the great upper Church of San Francisco, 
awaiting the coming of the English-speaking 
Brother who is to act as guide. Adapted to 
the contour of the hill, and as the first Gothic 
building in Italy, as is claimed, are the two 
churches, one above another, known as the 
Upper and Lower Churches. With Lady Lina 
Duff Gordon's excellent little handbook on 
Assisi, one could intelligently spend much 
time over the frescoes by Giotto and Cima- 
bue as well as over other treasures, though in 
the dim light good eyesight is needed as well 
as good guidance. The main motif, however, 
is the visit to the tomb of St. Francis, and 
that has in itself a singular history. At the 
time of his burial service there was a fear 
that a rival town might attempt to possess 
itself of his remains in order to have the 
prestige of ownership and so of the cult of 
the Saint. So serious was the anxiety that 
those in authority caused the coffin to be 
abducted during the burial ceremonies and to 
be secretly deposited, no one except those im- 
mediately effecting it knew where. The rest- 
ing-place was so effectively hidden and the 
knowledge of it so confined to those who car- 
ried it with them at their death that for sev- 
eral centuries the spot was unidentified. Fin- 
ally due authority was given for excavations 
in order to ascertain if possible where the 
body was. For a long time the effort was 
fruitless, and was indeed temporarily aban- 
doned and even interdicted by papal author- 
ity. But later such authority was renewed 
with the result that about six centuries after 


October, 1928 

the interment, that is, in 181 8, the body was 
discovered under the church. By many steps 
you descend to the cave-like room now ex- 
cavated and elaborately adorned as a chapel, 
in the center of which has been left as placed 
the sarcophagus containing the remains of 
St. Francis, in itself of simple massive stone 
and of worthy design. It is a place to linger 
and thank God for the good examples of His 
saints, and especially of St. Francis. 

In the sacristy are preserved various care- 
fully guarded articles treasured up for their 
use by St. Francis — the tunic worn by him 
at his death, charter of the Order of St. 
Francis, which he often wore about his body, 
his hair shirt and cord. And there on parch- 
ment was the only bit of autographic writing 
extant of St. Francis, a copy of which, in 
facsimile, the Brother gave me. It is the 
Aaronic blessing, written in his Latin script, 
with his signature, and with an explanatory 
annotation added later. It might well find 

place on any municipal monument in San 
Francisco of the sort referred to above, to 
stimulate a spirit in our citizenship to be 
worthy of his perpetual benediction. 

There seems to be something of an histor- 
ical iteration of the name "Francis" in Cali- 
fornia. In 1579 came hither the hardy ex- 
plorer, Francis Drake, with his ship Golden 
Hinde, and with him Francis Fletcher, the 
chaplain, held in honor among us. But one 
who visits Assisi will not be likely to get any 
of these confused (for each should be fairly 
accorded his own distinct place among our 
pre-pioneers), as did the enterprising hack- 
man who, driving some visitors to San Fran- 
cisco around Golden Gate Park, pointed out 
the prominent Prayer-Book Cross, erected to 
commemorate Francis Fletcher's first use of 
the prayer-book in the present territory of 
the United States, and explained to them 
that it was a monument in memory of Saint 
Francis Drake! 


[From "Wayfarers in Italy," published in a limited edition, 
D. P. Elder and Morgan Shepard, San Francisco, igoz] 

By Katharine Hooker 

"Douce melancolie Ombrienne . . . " — Bourget. 

THE station for Assisi lies out in the val- 
ley, while the town itself clambers up 
the hills upon the southern side. The little 
omnibus that with rather inadequate horses 
labors across the plain and then winds back 
and forth, rising till it reaches the compact 
stony streets, set us down before the Hotel Su- 
basio, unpretentious, but comfortable enough, 
and commanding a view that in itself might 
almost afford one a subsistence were the fare 
less substantial than it is. 

We arrived late in the afternoon, and the 
kindly landlord at once informed us that if 
we wished to step out upon the piazza close 
by we could see a religious ceremonial then 
in progress. We therefore took our way with- 
out delay in the direction in which the crowd 
was tending, and a few moments brought us 
out upon the Piazza Saint Francis. The 
church of Saint Francis is one of the most 
curious and interesting in the world, being 
in realitv three churches, one above another, 

partly built against, partly embedded in a 
stony steep. The lower one is cut out of the 
solid rock, the next rests upon it and is half 
supported by a projecting shelf. The third 
rises above all, to meet a broad sweep of 
grass which slopes gradually to meet its 

The middle church is the oldest and most 
beautiful and opens at the side upon a piazza 
partially colonnaded. It was here that the 
people were gathered, a moving crowd fall- 
ing from group to group and passing in and 
out of the portal. The effect was that of a 
shifting kaleidoscope of beautiful colors in 
which a shade of mustard-yellow predomi- 
nated, worn by the women in kerchiefs tied 
over their heads, but every variety of yellow 
was represented, as well as other brilliant 
hues, and there was a fondness for a pattern 
of gorgeous pink roses on a dark back- 
ground. The gowns were almost as varied as 
the kerchiefs. Women of the upper class wore 

:tober, 19.2b 


them of the ordinary cut, usually in light 
colors, with a black lace veil over the head. 
One, a real beauty, stood near us for some 
moments. Her glossy hair and her red lips 
were typically Italian, but cheeks as rosy as 
hers are not so often seen here. She wore a 
rose-colored gown and her black Spanish 
lace veil was arranged with a deliberate 
grace. There had been a confirmation in the 
morning and the little girls were dressed in 
the crispest pink, yellow or white frocks, 
with white veils fastened over their curly 
heads with artificial flowers. They carried 
bells made of terra-cotta and decorated in 
red and white patterns, a custom for that 

Presently we passed into the church, a 
solemn, dimly-lighted place, low, with heavy 
groining and short, ponderous pillars, som- 
berly rich with its ancient frescoes and spare- 
ly lighted by windows of beautiful old stain- 
ed glass. Twilight pervades it even at noon- 
day. At the end, which looked very far off, 
the organ was sounding and many lighted 
candles glimmered out of the obscurity. At 
the entrance where we stood daylight fell in 
and lighted up the ever-moving multitude, 
who pressed in, knelt before the different 
altars and then remained standing or passed 
out again. We waited, watched and were 
never tired. But at last all the moving crowd 
stood still, solemn chanting began and the 
procession, with swinging censers, advanced 
slowly down the church; priests in their 
richest vestments of white, gold and crimson, 
singers, acolytes, and at last, under a canopy, 
their precious relic, the veil of the Virgin. All 
the worshipers sank to their knees as it pass- 
ed them. A great wave of feeling seemed to 
surge through their ranks; and it was irre- 
sistible, we knelt with the rest, and could 
not have done otherwise. Slowly out of the 
church it went, and then all the people rose 
and followed after. 

It traversed the lower piazza, and mount- 
ing the street beyond till it was on a level 
with the upper church, turned and came back 
over the grassy expanse before the entrance. 
Here all the people stood still again, while 
the ecclesiastics went on into the church and 
after a little appeared again in an open log- 
gia above, which was hung with costly tap- 
estry. And here, when the relics came into 
view anew and were raised above the sill, the 
people all knelt again and the service pro- 

ceeded. At certain points a low, deep murmur 
rose from the crowd: the responses. It was 
like the wind through tall trees, not a word 
audible — only a low-toned, mighty sound 
that thrilled through one, most impressive, 
most touching. 

At last it was over and the concourse of 
people began to stream away, many of them 
having come from a long distance. We leaned 
over the stone parapet of the upper piazza 
and were speculating upon the meaning of 
some things we had just seen when a pleas- 
ant voice behind us asked : 

"Can I help you? I live in Assisi." 

We turned to see the attractive face of a 
girl of perhaps twenty-five, who smilingly 
offered to satisfy our curiosity with any ex- 
planations we desired. We at once fell into 
talk and she presently told us that she was 
English (which we had recognized) and that 
her husband was a native of Assisi, where 
she had lived since her marriage. 

"It is a treat to me to be able to speak 
English again. I have hardly spoken it for 
two years," she added, as we walked away 
together. She constituted herself our guide 
and with her we strolled from place to place, 
visited the churches, lingered to enjoy the 
views from higher and higher points and 
finished the afternoon in her own little home, 
which she laughingly offered as a final in- 
terest for sight-seers. 

Like all the quartierini of Assisi, it was 
entered by a door opening directly upon the 
pavement, in the even frontage of gray stone 
buildings that marches up the hilly streets. 
A red-tiled staircase led up to the prinw 
piano, where a little drawing-room, also with 
tiled floor, was made homelike by a piano, a 
glass cupboard of silver and some books and 
pictures. All the light came from one large 
window set high in the wall and reached by 
three steps which led up from the floor. A 
sunny dining-room opened beyond, yet the 
most interesting apartment was the kitchen, 
where the place of the prosaic cooking-stove 
was taken by an impressive altar, fit for 
sacrifice. A bonnet-like roof projected above, 
to lure the smoke of burnt offerings to the 
chimney, no doubt, and all about the walls 
hung copper utensils of such graceful shapes 
that the thought of using them for merely 
culinary purposes presented itself as almost 

But best of all, and a flight above the rest, 


October, 1928 

there was a refuge for warm evenings, an 
open loggia large enough to take tea in and 
at the same time look down upon Assisi, de- 
scending street below street toward the wide- 
spreading plain reaching away to more dis- 
tant hills. Our hostess, whose kindly hospi- 
tality was not yet tired, walked back with us 
to our hotel. As we went she confessed that 
she found little companionship among the 
dwellers in Assisi. 

"But," she added, "I have my baby now, 
so I need nothing more." 

With her husband, her baby and her books 
she professed herself entirely contented, and 
her looks went far to prove the success of at 
least one international alliance. 

On the way we met two sweet-looking eld- 
erly nuns, friends of our companion, and 
after a few moments of talk they in the most 
friendly way invited us to enter their con- 
vent which was close by, where in a little 
parlor to which we were shown they treated us 
to rosolio and strange little cakes, made in 
curiously elaborate form and strongly tinc- 
tured with anise. It appears that rosolio may 
be of different colors. Till this time we had 
seen it only pink as the pinkest roses and 
redolent of their fragrance, but this liqueur 
was as deep in color as a Jacqueminot and 
with a little spice added to its rosy flavor. 

The next morning we again joined our 
friend, to explore Assisi and the suburbs be- 
yond its walls. At one point we passed a 
public fountain where women were gathered 
to wash and stopped to watch them for a 
while. Animated was the chatter and loud 
the laughter proceeding therefrom, and our 
Signora remarked: 

"This is the great gossiping center of the 
town. All scandal begins here!" 

Under a roof supported on pillars are two 
great stone tanks, one for washing and the 
other for rinsing. On the slanting stone rim 
of the tank they spread out the garments and 
soap them thoroughly; they next go through 
a process of pressing, squeezing and some- 
times beating, but never rubbing. Then wet, 
full of soap and heavy as lead they are pack- 
ed into a basket and carried home on the 
head, up many a precipitous incline and 
flight of steep stairs. Arrived at home the 
clothes are put into a great earthenware tub, 
but first carefully sorted and the garments 
of the women and children placed below with 
those of the men above, otherwise the owners 

would suffer terrible aches and pains. Over 
all a coarse cloth is laid and upon it a layer 
of wood ashes, then tepid water is poured on 
and next boiling water, after which all is 
covered over and left to stand all night. In 
the morning the heavy burden is again car- 
ried down to the rinsing basin and eventually 
the clothes are delivered rough dry. The final 
operations of starching and ironing are done 
at home and even women who are well-to-do 
learn to perform these for themselves. 

The cheapness of living in Assisi is a mar- 
vel. On seven lire a day (a dollar and forty 
cents) a family of three may live like princes, 
so says our little friend, illustrating it in her 
own menage. They keep, she tells us, a maid- 
servant, and a man comes in each day to do 
the rougher work. The wages of a man-ser- 
vant is two dollars a month and that of a 
woman a dollar and forty cents. They have a 
horse and vehicle for driving about and the 
rent of their apartment is twenty-five dollars 
a year. Some idea of the cost of provisions 
may be gained when it is known that eggs 
are about six cents the dozen and green peas 
two cents the pound. 

Meals are arranged as follows. Coffee is 
taken in bed at about seven in the morning. 
It may be interesting to note here that in 
Assisi this beverage is looked upon as a 
panacea. If symptoms of illness appear there 
is no painful uncertainty as to the proper 
means to avail oneself of. Consign the pa- 
tient to bed at once and administer cup after 
cup of strong coffee. This will in the end 
vanquish any disease. 

At eight o'clock there is an informal meal 
called "the standing breakfast," when some- 
thing substantial like eggs or ham is served, 
and at twelve comes colazione, the first im- 
portant repast, of which the courses are apt 
to be soup, macaroni, and a dish of meat per- 
haps, of course accompanied by bread and 
wine. Instead of afternoon tea, at four o'clock 
a glass of wine is taken, and dinner comes at 
half past eight, when perhaps there may be 
roasted kid and salad as features of the re- 
past, all of which goes to show that living 
cheaply in Assisi does not mean living poor- 
ly; and when it is added that we saw a pretty 
and well-fitting gown for the making of 
which the dressmaker's charge was eighty 
cents, little remains to be added ! 

And why could not a worse fate overtake 
one than to live [Concluded on page 12] 

October, 1928 


The Lake Merced Rancho is as rich in natural beauty as in historical associations. In the very beginning 

of San Francisco exploration the leather-coated soldiers of Spain trod this ground, while the Franciscan 

padres gave the lake a name that sounds like a benediction 


October, 192S 

The sun tenderly caresses Merced's lovely waters, and the moon practices here a very special witchery. 
That there are few spots so beautiful in the metropolitan areas of the United States is the ready testi- 
mony of those who have traveled far in search of Nature's best 

October, ig2 


Motorists speeding over the Lake Merced Rancho on the Skyline Boulevard catch views like this, and 
return to experience the full enchantment of the scene — wooded hills in the distance, noble trees every- 
where, and peaceful waters brooding under a sky that shares its color with the lake 



October, [92I 

Lake Merced was named one year before the Presidio and Mission of San Francisco were established. 

Here and there on its broad acres are signs recounting its early history, while miles of riding-trails are 

marked with reminders of stirring events that happened here in later years 

October, 1928 



($L Cjfirancis breaches to the "Birds 

[From "The Little Flower?'] 

AXD he took as his companions Friar 
i. Masseo and Friar Agnolo, holy men. 
And going with impetuosity of spirit, taking 
thought neither of way nor path, they came 
to a walled place which is called Savurniano; 
and St. Francis began to preach; but first he 
bade the swallows which were twittering to 
keep silence until such time as he should 
finish preaching; and the swallows obeyed 
him; and there he preached with so great 
fervour that for devotion all the men and 
women of that town were minded to follow 
him and to abandon the town ; but St. Francis 
suffered them not, saying: 

"Be not over-hasty to depart; and I will 
ordain that which it behoves you to do for 
the salvation of your souls." 

And then he bethought him to institute the 
Third Order for the universal salvation of 
all men; and so, leaving them greatly com- 
forted and with minds turned to repentance, 
he gat him thence and came betwixt Cannaio 
and Bevagno. 

And passing on, full of fervour, he lifted 
up his eyes and saw certain trees hard by the 
road; whereat St. Francis marvelled, and 
said to his companions : 

"Ye shall await me here on the road, and 
I will go and preach to the birds my sisters."' 

And he went into the field and began to 
preach to the birds which were upon the 
ground; and anon those which were in the 
trees came to him, and all of them stood still 
together until St. Francis finished preaching; 
and even then they departed not until he 
gave them his blessing; and according to 
that which Friar Masseo afterward related 
to Friar James of Massa, when St. Francis 
went about among them touching them with 
his mantle, none of them moved therefor. 

Xow the preaching of St. Francis was on 
this wise : 

"My sisters the birds, much are ye be- 
holden unto God your Creator, and alway 
and in every place ought ye to praise Him, 
because He hath given you liberty to fly 
wheresoever ye will, and hath clothed you 
on with twofold and threefold raiment. More- 
over, He preserved your seed in the ark of 
Noah that your race might not be destroyed. 
Again, ye are beholden unto Him for the 

element of the air which He hath appointed 
for you; furthermore, ye sow not, neither do 
ye reap; yet God feedeth you and giveth you 
rivers and fountains wherefrom to drink; He 
giveth you mountains and valleys for your 
refuge, and high trees wherein to build your 
nests; and, in that ye know not how to sew 
nor spin, God clotheth you and your little 
ones; wherefore doth your Creator love you. 
seeing that He giveth you so many benefits. 
Guard yourselves, therefore, my sisters the 
birds, from the sin of ingratitude and be 
ye ever mindful to give praise to God." 

And, as St. Francis spake these words 
unto them, all those birds began to open their 
beaks, and to stretch out their necks, and to 
open their wings, and reverently to bow their 
heads even unto the ground, and to show by 
their motions and by their songs that the holy 
father gave them very great delight; and St. 
Francis rejoiced with them and was glad and 
marvelled much at so great a multitude of 
birds, and at the most beautiful diversity of 
them, and at their attention and fearless- 
ness; for which cause he devoutly praised the 
Creator in them. 

Finally, when he had made an end of 
preaching, St. Francis made over them the 
sign of the Cross and gave them leave to de- 
part; whereupon all those birds rose into the 
air with wondrous songs; and thereafter, ac- 
cording to the form of the Cross which St. 
Francis had made over them, they divided 
themselves into four bands; and one band 
flew towards the East, and one towards the 
West, and one towards the South, and the 
fourth towards the North, and each company 
went singing marvellous songs. 

For those who have not had occasion to ac- 
quaint themselves with the literature of St. 
Francis, it might be well to say that the 
"Little Flowers," or "Fioretti," from which 
the story of St. Francis preaching to the 
birds has been taken, is a masterpiece that 
has won the highest admiration from critic.-- 
in every age. As an introduction to the life 
of St. Francis no book can be more highly 
recommended than Maurice Francis Egan's 
"Evervbodv*s St. Francis." — Editor. 



October, 1928 

San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Maso?i Street * Phone Prospect 7000 

Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. VII. October, 1928 


IN urging a statue of St. Francis of Assisi 
for San Francisco, the editor of San 
Francisco Water feels quite safe in saying 
that no sculptor in the world would be in- 
different to the execution of such a commis- 
sion. The reason is that some of the world's 
greatest sculptors in other ages, beginning 
with Delia Robbia, gained immortal fame 
by their statues of the Assisian, and the great 
sculptors of today are always eager for the 
opportunity to measure their abilities against 
the giants of their art. This is a form of 
emulation that is altogether praiseworthy. 

Painters too have delighted to honor St. 
Francis, from far-off Giotto and Cimabue to 
contemporary Boutet de Monvel. 

The list of great poets who have sung his 
praises begins with the radiant name of 
Dante. The author of the Divine Comedy 
was born in 1265, only thirty-nine years 
after the death of Francis. During his life- 
time men definitely arrived at that estimate 
of the saint's world-importance which has 
never since been set aside. Small wonder, 
then, that a canto of the Paradiso is devoted 
to the glorification of the gentle saint who 
espoused "Our Lady Poverty." 

The opportunity to enrich these pages with 
a quotation from Dante is one not to be over- 
looked. The following translation of part of 
the "The Canto of St. Francis" (Paradiso 
xi, 73 et seq.) is by Dr. Melville Best An- 
derson, that distinguished Dantean scholar 
of Stanford University who has devoted 
twenty-eight years of his life to an English 
version of the Divine Comedy. Dr. Ander- 
son's magnum opus, revised and perfected 
over the previous edition, will be brought out 
early next year in four magnificent volumes, 
the work of John Henry Nash. After telling 
how the youth Francis espoused Poverty, 
Dante proceeds: 

But lest too enigmatic be my strain, 

from my long parable shalt thou infer 

that Poverty and Francis are these twain. 

So blithe and so harmonious they were, 

their love, their wonder, their communion sweet 

in all around set holy thoughts astir; 

Whence venerable Bernard first thought meet 

to go unshod, and after so great peace 

he ran, and running blamed his lagging feet. 

O wealth untold, good fruitful of increase ! 

Giles bares his feet, Sylvester his, behind 

the Bridegroom, such the Bride's peculiar grace. 

Then with his Lady and with the house assigned, 

all with the humble cord begirded now, 

went forth that Father and that Master kind ; 

Nor did he cravenly abase his brow 

as son of Peter Bernardone, or feel 

cast down by strange contempt. But his stern vow 

With regal dignity did he reveal 

to Innocent the Pope, by whom was granted 

for his religious order the first seal. 

As multiplied the poor folk who had panted 

to follow him whose life-work marvelous 

were better in the glory of Heaven chanted, 

This Master-shepherd's holy zeal for us 

was sealed with crown of the Eternal Spirit 

a second time through Pope Honorius. 

Then preached he to the Soldan proud (to merit 

the palm of martyrdom he would have borne) 

Christ and his followers ; but since to hear it 

He found unripe that folk, who put to scorn 

salvation, and lest vain should be the quest, 

returned to harvest of the Italian corn ; 

'Twixt Tiber and Arno on the rocky crest 

from Christ's own hand the final seal he won, 

borne for two years upon his limbs imprest. 

When God, allotting him such benison, 

vouchsafed to draw him to the meed above 

that he had gained by being a lowly one, 

Unto his brethren, as right heirs thereof, 

bequeathed he all his wealth, his Lady dear, 

bidding them hold fidelity in love; 

And from her breast the lofty spirit clear 

desired to pass to its own realm divine, 

and for its body willed no other bier. 

Such was our Patriarch ; and they who please 
to follow him, obeying his command, 
take on such freight of good commodities. 

[Continued from page 6] long in gentle 
Assisi, to listen to the organ and ponder over 
the faded frescoes in its dim churches, to 
climb the mountains at its back and tarry at 
their hidden villages and monasteries, to sit 
at evening in the high arch of some ancient 
window and gaze out over the quiet beauty of 
this Umbrian landscape, where the loving 
spirit of Saint Francis seems to hover and 
his peace to have settled upon the veiled dis- 
tances of the plain ? 

OCTOBKR, 1928 



J^ake <Jbfe reed's Q a $sic T^gce 

THROUGH the kindness of Mr. Luke 
Fay, than whom no San Franciscan is 
better informed on the history of his native 
city, San Francisco Water presents here- 
with an account of the Thad Stevens race at 
the old Ocean House track at Lake Merced. 

Doubtless many San Franciscans will 
learn with some surprise that there was a 
race-track at Lake Merced in the seventies. 
To others it is just another reminder that 
that beautiful part of our peninsula is ex- 
ceedingly rich in historical associations. 

The story of Lake Merced, in so far as 
white men are concerned, begins one year 
before the founding of San Francisco. The 
lake received its name on September 24, 
1775, when Don Bruno de Heceta, Spanish 
explorer, camped there with his soldiers. 
There were two Franciscan padres attached 
to his party — Father Palou and Father 
Campa. It was the feast day of Our Lady of 
Mercy, and that fact suggested the name. In 
the same way Lake San Andres in San 
Mateo County took its name from the feast 
day of St. Andrew. 

Among the thousands who witnessed the 
victory of Thad Stevens there must have 
been many who remembered United States 
Senator Broderick, who died in 1859 as the 
result of a duel fought with Judge David S. 
Terry at Lake Merced on the thirteenth of 
September. The night before that fatal en- 
counter Senator Broderick slept — or tried to 
sleep — at the Lake House, which was not far 
from the establishment conducted by Cor- 
nelius Stagg. Since Spring Valley Water Com- 
pany laid out equestrian trails at Lake Mer- 
ced, the place where the duel was fought and 
the markers placed by the Native Sons have 
become familiar to hundreds of our citizens. 

That Lake Merced had been a dueling 
ground before the Broderick-Terry encoun- 

By Luk 

THE Ocean Race Course, so called from 
the popular Ocean House that catered 
to wants of sportsmen and others in the 
vicinity, was out on Ocean Avenue, adjacent 
to Lake Merced, and was accessible by rail 
from the Fourth and Brannan Street depot 
of the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad, 
which ran two trains a day in 1864. Passen- 

ter, is more than likely. Dueling was com 
mon in San Francisco during the first decade 
after '49, and the Merced Rancho, remote 
from the paths of the sheriff, was admirably 
fitted to the exigencies of the code. But that 
its very remoteness had a serious aspect was 
illustrated in the fate of Broderick. Serious- 
ly wounded, he was taken by carriage to the 
other extremity of the peninsula — Black 
Point — where he died. Speedier medical at- 
tention might have saved him. 

Not long after the exciting contest de- 
scribed by Mr. P"ay, racing departed from 
Lake Merced. At the session of the Legisla- 
ture during 1873 ar *d l8 74, an act was 
passed closing certain streets leading into 
Fulton opposite Golden Gate Park. The 
purpose was the construction of the Bay Dis- 
trict Track, an enterprise in which Senator 
Stanford and other magnates of the trans- 
continental railroad were deeply interested. 

"The establishment of the track in this lo- 
cation," writes a San Francisco historian, 
"was largely influenced by the plans of those 
connected with the street-car system. At the 
time of its creation, to most people in San 
Francisco it seemed a location which would 
not soon be reached by the advancing tide of 
homeseekers, but those who invested their 
money in the enterprise foresaw that the} 
would get it back in the near future when the 
demand for lots would make it profitable to 
cut up the tract." 

Racing returned to the neighborhood of 
Lake Merced some years later, when the In- 
gleside race-course was constructed. Then 
racing departed from the city and count}- of 
San Francisco, never to return. When it was 
revived again for the benefit of San Fran- 
ciscans, the present Tanforan course at San 
Bruno in San Mateo Count}- was constructed. 

Here is Mr. Fay's narrative: 

e Fay 

gers to the hotel or the races could book to 
San Miguel City (now Ocean View) and 
thence walk over a couple of miles to the 
race-track or to the Oceanside House. But. 
of course, on great occasions there were thou- 
sands that drove out in vehicles of various 
sorts rather than depend upon the slender 
resources of the railway that subsequently 



October, 1028 

The famous old Ocean House on the Lake Merced Rancho 

became part of the great Southern Pacific 

The Ocean House and Ocean Race Course 
were generally known in the early '70s as 
the Ocean View Race Course and Ocean 
View House, which, under the guidance of 
Cornelius Stagg, became the most celebrated 
sporting rendezvous in Western America. 

It was at this track that the most famous 
race in the history of the California turf, the 
Thad Stevens Race, was run November 15, 
1873, and established permanently the su- 
periority of the California race-horse. 

This was some race — four heats of four 
miles each, against the picked horses of the 
East, Kentucky, and the Middle West, for 
a purse of $20,000. 

In this Homeric contest George Treat's 
California-bred sorrel horse, Thad Stevens, 
defeated William Wightman's Michigan- 
bred bay, four-year-old horse, Joe Daniels, 
and John J. Chamberlain's Kentucky-bred 
bay horse, True Blue. William Hall's bay 
mare, Mamie Hall, also started in the first 
heat, but she never figured prominently in 
the betting, and in the first heat got dis- 
tressed, threw her jockey, and was with- 

Aside from the sporting importance of 
this event, it drew the greatest attendance 
and was socially the biggest affair that had 
occurred in California up to that date. The 
population of San Francisco was then less 
than 190,000. More than 40,000 persons 

were estimated to have witnessed the race — 
more than one-fifth of the entire population 
of the city. And the Ocean View Track was 
then normally supposed to accommodate 
only 16,000 spectators. 

The writer, who was then only a small 
boy going to St. Mary's College, was one of 
the 40,000 interested onlookers; and the 
pictures of the horses, the crowds, and the 
twinkling lanterns at the close of the racing, 
are as vivid in his memory today as they 
were fifty years ago. 

Before attempting any description of the 
event, it may be well to give the results of the 
four heats in abbreviated form so as to show 
at a glance how they were run : 

First Heat — Joe Daniels, (W. J. Palmer) 
1; True Blue, (George Barbee) 2; Thad 
Stevens, (Charles Ross) 3; Mamie Hall, o. 
Time: 7 minutes 45 seconds. Won by 3 
lengths; Mamie Hall got distressed early in 
the race and retired. 

Second Heat — True Blue, 1 ; Joe Daniels, 
2; Thad Stevens, 3. Time: 8 minutes 8 
seconds. Won by 5 lengths. 

Third Heat — Thad Stevens, 1 ; Joe 
Daniels, 2; True Blue, o. Time: 7 minutes 
57 seconds. Won by 6 lengths. True Blue 
strained a tendon at the third mile and re- 

Fourth Heat — Thad Stevens, 1 ; Joe 
Daniels, 2. Time: 8 minutes 2o-)4 seconds. 
Won by 6 lengths. 

For all of a week before this race was run 
the whole town was wild with excitement 
over it, and in every resort from the Ferries 
to Ocean View itself, and from North Beach 
to the Mission Creek, it was the sole subject 
of discussion. 

Out at Barney Farley's, at the junction of 
the Ocean Beach and old Oceanside House 
roads, where all the sports would gather to 
hear Barney tell about his prize-fights and 
his protege, "My boy Joe," who was Joe 
McAuliffe, even Barney himself took to 
"talking horse" and advising everybody to 
come out early to see the race and be sure to 
back Thad Stevens. 

Sportsman though he was, Barney always 
had an eye to the main chance. The bigger 
the crowd that came to the races, the better 
for Barney's establishment. He was not dis- 
appointed. His place began to overflow with 
customers early Friday night, and it kept 

October. 1928 



. filled, inside and out, with a milling crowd 
[■ from that time until late Monday morning. 

The newspapers were filled with reports 
about the horses, the betting, and everything 
I else. True Blue had been started across the 
continent from Baltimore on a special car 
j nearly three weeks before the race, and the 
|j papers chronicled his travels as if he were 
the President on an election tour. Somebody 
brought out a pari-mutuel machine, or total- 
izator, from New York, and installed it at 
the Lick House, where fresh pools were made 
on it every night. The papers published hal- 
lelujahs about it, showing how it made bet- 
ting as pure as the snow, and exhorting 
preachers to send their daughters to see the 
I race, and even to bet on it pari-mutuel fash- 
ion, on that account. Everybody was race- 

The first heat was timed to start at two 
o'clock Saturday afternoon, but long before 
dawn the walking brigades were under way 
and the scene was like the road to Epsom on 
an English Derby Day, only more so. The 
weather was fine. Crowds packed the roads. 
As well as the pedestrians, there were hacks, 
carts, and wagons of every description that 
went into the jitney business for the great 
occasion, and charged $40 a carload — or 
what have you? — to carry enthusiasts to or 
from the track. 

As well as the amateur enthusiasts, there 
were scores of clowns, acrobats, three-card 
men, thimble-riggers, minstrels, and fakers 
of every description. There were also hun- 
dreds of young hoodlums belonging to vari- 
ous gangs North and South of Market. Long 
before noon all the hills overlooking the 
track were packed with men, women, and 
boys that did not feel like paying two dollars 
to get inside the fence that surrounded the 
park, and fun was fast and furious. 

By that hour also the Ocean View House 
and Seaside Cottage, that were part of 
Stagg's establishment within the enclosure, 
were packed to the balconies. Wines, beers, 
liquors of every kind were flowing like water. 
Luncheons were being served at crowded 
tables. Champagne corks were popping like 
machine guns in action. 

Three days earlier Stagg had been offered 
and had rejected $15,000 in gold for the 
gate privileges to the race. Admission to the 
track was two dollars, while the grandstand 



fegj fc^^_, ^ 

cost one dollar extra. Admission to the 
quarter-stretch, "with all privileges," cost 
ten dollars. The quarter-stretch and the 
grandstands (which held more than 6000 
people) were packed. So was the lawn inside 
the track that accommodated about 10,000 
people. By two o'clock 20,000 people had 
paid their way into the course, and there 
were probably a thousand hoodlums and 
others that had rushed the gate. 

The first heat was to have started at two, 
but just before that hour there was an alarm 
of fire which upset s*ome of the crowd in 
the vicinity of the grandstands but created 
no panic. A blaze had started in the coal- 
shed of the cafe behind the stand, but it was 
quickly extinguished. 

At that time all the rank and fashion of 
northern California was at the track. Gover- 
nor Booth and Chief Justice Wallace ar- 
rived in the same barouche, ex-Governor 
Leland Stanford and Senator Felton in an- 
other. Mayor Alvord, as well as all the city 
officials and all the judges, were there with 
other citizens of humble rank. All the "Bo- 
nanza Kings" and other leaders of finance 
were there in their finest equipages. All the 
families from the fashionable districts — the 
McAllisters, the Barroilhets, the Stewart 
Menzies and other society leaders. Mrs. 
Lily Hitchcock Coit and party attended in 
a huge stage-coach. Every social stratum of 
San Francisco from the Chinese to the 
McAllisters was gathered to watch Thad 



October, 1928 

Stevens struggle for the supremacy of the 
American turf against True Blue and Joe 
Daniels. Mamie Hall did not count. 

But four-mile heats, though they test the 
strength and endurance of the horses to the 
utmost, are rarely such desperate and excit- 
ing neck-to-neck struggles as are races of a 
mile or less. Therefore, the four great heats 
in this great race were comparatively tame as 
regarded from a spectacular point of view. 

Charles Ross was Thad Stevens' jockey; 
W. J. Palmer rode Joe Daniels; George Bar- 
bee, a famous English Jockey, rode True 
Blue. Mamie Hall's jockey was a stable lad. 

In the first heat, all four got away to an 
even start, galloping easily. Joe Daniels 
raced evenly with True Blue for the first 
half-mile, with Thad Stevens swinging along 
easily behind them, and Mamie Hall in the 
rear. In the second half Joe Daniels forged 
ahead, while Mamie Hall got wild and flung 
off her rider. When caught, she was found to 
be a sick mare, and was taken back to her 
stall. Meanwhile Joe Daniels made a fast 
pace and held it, with True Blue galloping 
close behind and Thad Stevens going easy 
some lengths to the rear. Thus they kept the 
going until entering the home-stretch, where 
Joe Daniels still kept his great pace, but 
True Blue challenged him. Then there was 
a race that set the immense crowd cheering. 
But Joe Daniels had too good a lead, and 
was too good a battler. As Palmer gave him 
the quirt, he sprang forward gamely, and 
rode in an easy winner by three lengths. The 
same distance separated True Blue and 
Thad Stevens; but whereas it was then plain 
that the Kentucky horse had been ridden 
hard, the Californians noted that Ross had 
not driven Thad for a yard of the running, 
and he was as fresh as paint at the finish. 
The time of the race, 7 minutes and 45 sec- 
onds, was 25^4 seconds below the then record 
for the distance, made by Lexington in 1855. 

The second heat was slower than the first. 
The three horses raced in a bunch, with 
Thad Stevens trailing a little for the first 
three miles. Then True Blue pulled out with 
a splendid spurt and won easily by five 
lengths, with Thad Stevens still going easily 
three lengths behind Joe Daniels. The time 
was 8 minutes and 8 seconds. 

Two heats gone, and Thad Stevens last 
in each! The inexperienced California en- 
thusiasts inside and outside the course were 

bemoaning the outlook, and many of the 
knowledgable ones did a little discreet hedg- 
ing. The betting was fast and furious, and 
because Joe Daniels was only a four-year- 
old and True Blue was a more seasoned 
horse, most of the Eastern money was wager- 
ed on the latter. 

The third heat had a flying start, with 
True Blue and Thad Stevens racing nose 
and nose for the lead. Both horses had al- 
ready done eight miles, but the pace they 
made was gruelling. For more than three 
miles they seesawed neck and neck. Then 
suddenly the Kentucky horse faltered, and 
Joe Daniels swept past him, with Thad 
Stevens well in the lead. True Blue slowed 
and limped. The game thoroughbred had 
sprung a tendon. Only two horses were left 
in the race. Joe Daniels spurted gallantly in 
the home stretch, but Ross simply let out the 
Californian without touching whip or spur 
to him, and Thad romped in a winner by six 

The time, 7 minutes and 57 seconds, was 
remarkable, considering that the run was the 
third four-mile heat of the same afternoon. 

Dusk was falling when the fourth heat 
started. Carriage lamps were being lit, and 
lanterns were twinkling along the home- 
stretch. The horses got away to an even start; 
but the race was merely a procession. Thad 
Stevens made the running as he pleased from 
the four-year-old, and galloped home six 
lengths ahead. Time, 8 minutes and 20^ 

But nobody cared what the time was. 
Darkness closed in on a tumult of cheers 
and twinkling lanterns. Hats were flung high 
in the air, men yelled with delight and 
thumped absolute strangers on the back in 
their jubilance. Everybody was inviting 
everybody else to Stagg's or Barney Farley's 
or any other place where they could quickly 
and properly celebrate. Ladies were squeal- 
ing with delight. Everybody was in a de- 
lirium of happiness as the crowds melted 
off the surrounding hills and poured through 
the gates of the race-course — 40,000 at the 
end of a perfect day. 

For hours the roads were twinkling with 
the lights of the lanterns, and all the road- 
houses were doing a land-office business. 
Down in Barney Farley's it was not "My boy 
Joe" that the host talked about, but "Our 
horse Thad." 

Spring Valley Water Company 


F. B. Anderson Benjamin Bangs 

S. P. Eastman Sidney M. Ehrman E. L. Eyre 

Frank B. King E. J. McCutchen 

Warren Olney, Jr. A. H. Payson 

W. B. Bourn 

Robert G. Hooker 


Arthur R. Vincent 


Chairman of the Board 


S. P. Eastman SECRETARY 


E. J. McCutchen TREASURER 

G. A. Elliott 

John J. Sharon 

H. M. Kinsey 

Benjamin Bangs 


General Manager 
Assistant Auditor 

G. A. Elliott 

John J. Sharon 

D. W. Cooper 

Water Sales 
Department : 


V. E. Perry 

Assistant Manager 

A. M. Cooley 

Chief Engineer 

G. A. Elliott 

Supervisor, Consumers' Accounts 

W. D. Ryder 

Assistant Chief Engineer 

T. W. Espy 

Supervisor, Collections 

A. W. Till 

Office Engineer 

I. E. Flaa 

Manager, Docks and Shipping 

H. Templeman 

Superintendent, City 

Assistant Superintendent 

Foreman, Service and Meter 

George W. Pracy 

O. G. Goldman 

Joseph Kappeler 

Superintendent Agricultural 

Assistant Superintendent 

Assistant to Superintendent 

F. YV. Roeding 

C. H. Schween 

Frank Peters 

Foreman, City Distribution 

J. J. Miley 

Director of Publicity 

Edward F. O'Day 


Manager Real Estate 

Assistant Superintendent 

S. M. Millard 


Theodore J. Wilder 

Superintendent Alameda System 

A. W. Ebright 

Purchasing Agent 

J. H. Le Pla 


Canticle of the Creatures 
By St. Francis of Assist 

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'AN Francisco W^ter 


Spring Valley Water Company 
san francisco, california 

Volume VIII 

August, i 929 

Number 1 

^4 \3xCemorial to Jfermann ^cbusskr 

IF you seek his monument look about you." 
As the motorist from San Francisco ap- 
proaches that part of the Skyline Boulevard 
which traverses the top of Crystal Springs 
Dam, he notes a huge boulder reared in a 
formal setting at the edge of the reservoir. 
Upon its rugged face this boulder carries a 
bronze tablet with a portrait in relief and the 
following inscription : 

Hermann Schussler 


Spring Valley Water Company 

1 864- 1 908 




This is the memorial recently erected by 
Spring Valley Water Company to the honor 
of its great engineer. 

The spot is a beautiful one. Crystal 
Springs Lake is outspread in all its silver 
placidity. Beyond are the glorious San Mateo 
hills. Over the rock bends an ancient, storm- 
beaten tree. And it is a significant spot for 
the purpose of such a memorial. For when 
Hermann Schussler created the water supply 
of San Francisco, he- crowned his lifework 
by the construction of the great Crystal 
Springs Dam. 

The memorial was designed by Gardner 
A. Dailey, architect, and the tablet is the 
work of Jose Moya del Pino, sculptor and 

Many will recognize the concluding words 
of the inscription. They are translated from 
the Latin epitaph of Sir Christopher Wren. 
That great architect, who placed the seal of 

his genius upon the city of London after the 
Fire of 1666, is commemorated in St. Paul's 
Cathedral, the greatest structure he designed. 
His memorial is a tablet placed over one of 
the portals, bearing these words: Si Monu- 
mentum Requiris, Circumspice. This phrase 
of noble simplicity was borrowed by Spring 
Valley Water Company to express its admi- 
ration for Hermann Schussler. 

Hermann Schussler, thus commemorated 
in rock and bronze, might well say for him- 
self, in the words of Horace, Exegi monu- 
mentum aere perennius (I have erected a 
monument more lasting than brass). As long 
as San Francisco exists his fame will be per- 
petuated by his work. 

The great Hetch Hetchy system of water 
supply will not supersede, it will coordinate 
with the Spring Valley system devised and 
built by Schussler between the years 1864 
and 1908. Succeeding engineers have ex- 
panded his work and added important new 
elements of supply and distribution, but his 
was the pioneering achievement. 

Speaking of his entrance into the service 
of Spring Valley, Ray W. Taylor in his book 
"Hetch Hetchy" says: 

"The choice of Schussler, while not real- 
ized at the time, was a momentous one for 
the City of San Francisco. He was a domi- 
nant figure in the affairs of the Spring Val- 
ley Water Company for fifty years. He de- 
veloped the city's water system as it exists 
today. Upon his recommendation the com- 
pany little by little secured its vast holdings 
of over 100,000 acres of land." 

Mr. Taylor pieces the emphasis where it 
belongs — upon the benefit derived from 
Schussler 's abilities by the city of San Fran- 
cisco. Fittingly, his memorial will become a 
public monument. 


August, 1929 

Cjfour spring 'Valley Engineers 

UPON the occasion of the commemora- 
tion of Hermann Schussler at Crystal 
Springs Dam, it seems fitting to set down in 
some detail the work of the four chief en- 
gineers who carried Spring Valley Water 
Company from humble beginnings to its 
present position as a great metropolitan sup- 
ply. They are, in the order of their service, 
A. W. Von Schmidt, Hermann Schussler, 
Fred C. Herrmann, and George A. Elliott. 

When John Bensley founded the San Fran- 
cisco City Water Company, in 1858, he 
chose, as chief engineer, A. W. Von Schmidt, 
an engineer of distinguished local standing. 
Under Von Schmidt's direction, the first sup- 
ply was brought from Lobos Creek by tun- 
nel, flume, and pipe around Fort Point to the 
foot of Van Ness Avenue. Thence the water 
was pumped to two reservoirs on Russian 
Hill that are still in use — the Lombard- 
Street and the Francisco-Street reservoirs. 
This supply consisted of 2,000,000 gallons a 

In i860 the Spring Valley Water Works 
was organized by George Ensign. Its first 
supply was obtained from Islais Creek, the 
water being carried by flume and pipe to a 
reservoir at Sixteenth and Brannan Streets. 
This supply amounted to 200,000 gallons a 

In April of i860 A. W. Von Schmidt left 
the service of the San Francisco City Water 
Company to become chief engineer of the 
Spring Valley Water Works. Under his su- 
pervision the younger company immediately 
looked to San Mateo County for an adequate 
supply. By September of i860 Von Schmidt 
had commenced the construction of a small 
earth dam across Pilarcitos Canyon, high in 
the San Mateo hills. This structure, com- 
pleted in December, 1863, formed a reservoir 
impounding 65,000,000 gallons of water. 
While the dam was being built, a tunnel was 
driven through the San Mateo hills from 
Pilarcitos Creek to San Mateo Creek, this 
work being completed in May of 1861. Water 
from the original Pilarcitos Reservoir was 
carried through the tunnel, and then by 
flume and pipe-line a distance of thirty-two 
miles to reservoirs in San Francisco. 

In 1864 Von Schmidt retired from the 
service of Spring Valley Water Works. He 
had been with the Company for less than 
five years. 

Allexey Waldemar Von Schmidt was born 
near Riga in Courland, Russia, on the 
25th of August, 182 1, and was brought to 
the United States at the age of six. His father 
was an old soldier of the Czar who had 
fought at Waterloo and who practiced in 
Eastern states the profession of civil en- 
gineer. Von Schmidt came to California dur- 
ing the gold excitement, ti aveling around the 
Horn and landing in San Francisco on the 
24th of May, 1849. He had adopted his 
father's profession and immediately began 
to practice in San Francisco. He was a dep- 
uty United States Land Surveyor for several 
years, and also worked for various mining 
companies in California and Nevada, de- 
signing flumes and ditch systems and build- 
ing pumping plants. 

After leaving the service of Spring Valley 
Water Works, he continued in the general 
practice of his profession, and his most fa- 
mous achievement was his successful de- 
struction, under government contract, of 

August, 1929 


Blossom Rock, a menace to navigation in the 
main ship channel of San Francisco Bay. 

Blossom Rock was situated in San Fran- 
cisco Bay, directly east of the Golden Gate, 
due north of the city, on a line between Al- 
catraz and Goat (or Verba Buena) islands, 
and nearly midway between them. It was 
distant from the city front about 1500 yards. 
It was directly in the course that vessels were 
often compelled to take in entering and leav- 
ing the harbor; was in the track of vessels 
passing to and from San Francisco and the 
Mare Island Navy Yard, and was also in the 
way of all passenger steamers and vessels 
plying between San Francisco and the Sacra- 
mento and San Joaquin rivers. The rock was 
discovered and named in 1826 by Captain 
Beechey of the British Navy, who entered 
San Francisco Harbor in command of the 

The top of the rock was about five feet 
below the surface of the water at mean low 
tide. Its greatest length at the depth of 
twenty-four feet was 195 feet, and its great- 
est breadth at the same depth was 105 feet. 
The place is exposed to southeast gales, 
which prevail there in the winter months, 
and the tide whirled over the rock at such a 
rapid rate that the buoy, placed by the Light- 
house Department, had several times been 
swept away. 

The order for the removal of Blossom 
Rock was issued by the Engineer Depart- 
ment of the United States Army in July of 
1866, but the contract for its removal was 
not awarded to A. \Y. Von Schmidt until 
June of 1869, his compensation being fixed 
at $75,000. 

The work has been described as follows 
by Glenn B. Ashcroft, writing in the Year 
Book of the Society of Engineers for 1928 : 

"The originality of the plan and its 
method of execution attracted nation-wide 
attention at the time. Briefly summarized 
they were as follows : A survey having dis- 
closed that the surface of the rock (about 
180 feet by 90 feet) was fairly level and of 
soft material, he constructed a large scow 
and upon it a double walled coffer dam about 
eight feet by eight feet, the bottom of which 
was armed with long iron spikes; this he 
towed over the spot and sunk to a bearing 
by piling in loose rock; a hole was then cut 
through the bottom and an Tron Turret' 
cemented into the rock; through this well 

Hermann Schussler 

hole the excavation proceeded until an ir- 
regular cavern some 140 feet by 50 feet had 
been cut to a depth of 37 feet below low 
water; this cavity was then charged with 
43,000 pounds of black powder placed in 
sealed casks and connected by insulated 
wires arranged for discharge by electric bat- 

"However familiar all this sound> to the 
engineer of today, it was at that time the first 
case of submarine blasting conducted in that 
way; hence the progress of the work was 
eagerly watched by the townspeople and 
man}- eminent engineers came to inspect it. 
As the time approached for firing the blast, 
interest rose to a high pitch; much specula- 
tion as to the final result was indulged in: 
and at last on the appointed day, the whole 
town turned out en masse to witness the spec- 
tacle. The local press of that dav devoted 
man}- columns to the new event; from these 
we can here record but the briefest extract- : 

" 'Probably 50,000 people witnessed the 
grand spectacle, such a sight as never was 
presented in this city before. Along ever}- 


August, 1929 

The placid lake— the San Mateo hills— the storm-beaten tree— in this setting 
Hermann Schussler is remembered 

street rattled thousands of wagons and car- 
riages, and horsemen dashed rapidly here 
and there. Dense crowds lined the wharves, 
-hills and all points of vantage and crafts 
loaded with sightseers covered the bay. Sev- 
eral fights took place on Telegraph hill 
among the roughs, but no particular damage 
was done.' " 

The blast was set off at five minutes past 
two p.m., August 23, 1870. " 'A large circu- 
lar volume of water about 400 feet in diame- 
ter shot into the air to the height of about 100 
feet, while in the center and amalgamated 
with the water could be seen black volumes 
of smoke and a sheet of stones, the latter 
ascending far above the water and presenting 
on the whole the appearance of a vast vol- 
canic eruption. Immediately after the ex- 
plosion every steamer and tugboat blew their 
whistles and dipped their colors. Bells were 
rung, guns fired and a general feeling of de- 
light and admiration seized every spectator. 

The crowd now broke over the hill and com- 
menced the descent to the City. The jam was 
fearful and pickpockets enjoyed a harvest. 
Women with children in arms and small 
boys were jostled until they were willing to 
fall out and wait until the rush was over. A 
man who had partaken of too much pop 
missed his footing on a narrow path and 
rolled down the side of Telegraph Hill sev- 
eral rods into a hole. Several parties were 
jostled and crowded off the steep embank- 
ment on Montgomery Street, but no one sus- 
tained serious injuries.' 

"Colonel Von Schmidt, who had backed 
this enterprise with his own money, since the 
contract stipulated that no payment would 
be made until successful termination of the 
work, had exercised such foresight and skill 
that not a single accident occurred to mar the 
progress of the job, and after clearing away 
the debris he was able to satisfy the govern- 
ment officials in charge and collect his fee in 

August, 1929 


full. He patented the methods he had used, 
but apparently all the reward he ever reaped 
from this was litigation." 

In a report to the Washington authorities 
upon the completion of the project, made by 
Major R. S. Williamson and Lieutenant W. 
H. Heuer, of the Corps of Engineers, Von 
Schmidt was paid the following tribute: 

"Mr. Von Schmidt deserves a great deal 
of credit for the work he has achieved. His 
daring character is shown by his accepting a 
contract in which he was to receive no money 
until the completion of an experiment, the 
success of which could only be decided by 
the United States as the sole arbiter. The 
energy with which he pushed forward the 
work until the explosion took place, and the 
renewed energy with which he pursued his 
labor under such discouraging circumstances, 
deserves the success he attained." 

A. W. Von Schmidt died May 26, 1906, 
in the eighty-fifth year of hi 3 age. 


A. W. Von Schmidt was succeeded at Pilar- 
citos by Calvin Brown, who started the con- 
struction of a larger Pilarcitos Dam. In this 
work he was joined, October 1864, by Her- 
mann Schussler. 

Schussler came to Spring Valley on the 

Where motorists pause 

eve of important events. The year 1865 
marked the absorption by Spring Valley of 
the San Francisco City Water Company, 
likewise the completion of Spring Valley's 
first big distributing reservoir in San Fran- 
cisco, Laguna Honda, for the reception of 
the increased supply from Pilarcitos. 

Hermann Schussler was born in 1842 in 
the little village of Rastede, Grand Duchy 
of Oldenburg, Germany. He came to Cali- 
fornia after studying engineering in the 
schools of Zurich and Karlsruhe, and after 
some practical experience at Lucerne and 

In a pamphlet published in 1906 he out- 
lined his Spring Valley activities in the fol- 
lowing characteristically matter-of-fact way: 

"On October 8th, 1864, I had been ap- 
pointed as engineer of that part of the works 
of the original Spring Valley Water Works 
which related to the headwaters in San 
Mateo County and the conduit lines con- 
structed and to be constructed into San Fran- 

"In the fall of 1864 the foundation of the 
large Pilarcitos main dam was started and, 
early in 1865, the second long tunnel on the 
proposed new Pilarcitos conduit line. 

"In May, 1866, I was appointed Chief 


August, [929 

Engineer of the entire Spring Valley Water 
Works, with headquarters in San Francisco, 
and have continued in this position from that 
date up to the present. During this long, con- 
tinuous period of over four decades, I have 
designed and constructed all the works 
necessary to gradually bring the works up to 
their present capacity of about 35 million 
gallons a day. I have also advised and in- 
sisted upon the timely acquisition of the 
large, then available, but now enormously 
valuable watersheds, reservoir sites, water 
rights and rights of way in and from the 
mountains and valleys surrounding the bay. 

"In the second half of the sixties, building 
the Pilarcitos Reservoir and its new conduit 
into San Francisco; and, in the latter part 
of the sixties and early in the seventies, 
building the San Andres Dam and its inde- 
pendent pipe line. Both of these reservoirs 
were, some years later, increased in capacity 
by raising the two dams. 

"In the middle of the seventies we con- 
structed the upper Crystal Springs Reservoir 
and, a few years later, connected the same by 
a pumping plant, pipe and flume line with 
the Pilarcitos conduit, thus adding the upper 
Crystal Springs water to our city water 

"About the same time we acquired land 
and water rights at Lake Merced, in San 
Francisco County, and erected a pumping 
plant on the north lake and connected the 
same (which controlled the north lake and 
the outflow from the south lake), by a pipe 
line, with our San Andres main conduit 
line, delivering water into College Hill 

"In 1885 we constructed the 44-inch 
wrought-iron Crystal Springs pipe line from 
the upper Crystal Springs Reservoir to the 
new University Mound Reservoir, into the 
city, thus sending a much larger supply from 
this important source into San Francisco by 
gravitation, instead of pumping as thereto- 

"In 1888 we completed the original Ala- 
meda Creek works as far as the 44-inch 
Crystal Springs pipe, near Burlingame, with 
double 16-inch submarine pipes crossing the 

"At this period we also completed the 
original Belmont pumping plant, thus add- 
ing to our works the magnificent Alameda 
properties, which holdings have since been 

largely added to and part of their resources 

"In 1887 we laid the foundation of the 
concrete Crystal Springs main dam and, by 
working on the same during 1887, 1888 and 
1890, we raised it to its present height of 145 
feet above its base, which is 280 feet above 
tide. The 44-inch Crystal Springs pipe was 
disconnected from the upper dam and, in- 
stead, connected (as originally contem- 
plated) with the lower main dam. 

"In 1897 the Pilarcitos pumps were con- 
structed, forcing San Andres water into the 
Pilarcitos pipe line. 

"In 1898 we completed the Crystal 
Springs emergency pumping station, with 
conduit to San Andres Reservoir, and also 
the Millbrae pumping station. The latter can 
deliver either Alameda or Crystal Springs 
water into the higher San Andres pipe line. 

"In 1900 we completed the Sunol filter 
beds and Sunol Aqueduct, on the Alameda 
Creek system, largely increasing the capacity 
of the original Alameda works and also, by 
filtration, improving the quality of the water. 
These filter beds also received the water from 
our extensive artesian lands in Livermore 

"During 1902 we constructed the second 
double line of submarine pipes across the 
bay, these lines being 22 inches, while the 
original lines are 16 inches in diameter. 
Thus we considerably again increased the 
carrying capacity of the Alameda conduit. 

"This was followed, in 1903, by our more 
than doubling the capacity of the Belmont 
pumping plant and, at the same time, laying 
the 54-inch Alameda pipe line from the Bur- 
lingame junction of the Crystal Springs and 
Alameda pipe line to the Millbrae Pumping 

"At the latter place we had also, since 
1898, established a large central and effec- 
tive emergency camp, for the purpose of 
rapidly repairing any part of the main 
works, should it become necessary. 

"This camp stood us in good stead imme- 
diately after the disaster of 1906, as without 
the great variety of almost every kind of re- 
pair fittings kept on hand there much more 
time would have elapsed in repairing the 
damage done to the San Andres and Crystal 
Springs main pipe lines. 

"During the period of 40 years, from 
1865 to 1905, the population and consump- 

August, 1929 


tion of water in San Francisco gradually and 
steadily grew, and, naturally, required an 
enormous extension of the city distributing 
reservoir and pipe system. Water was re- 
quired and demanded everywhere, and at 
elevations varying from the sea-level up to 
over 500 feet above tide. 

"By the end of the year 1905, we had dis- 
tributing pipes of a total length of 441 y> 
miles, laid and in operation in the City of 
San Francisco." 

In thus sketching his Spring Valley activi- 
ties, Schussler left it to the reader to measure 
his achievements against the background of 
the period during which he worked. So 
measured, Schussler's work is found to be as 
bold and daring as that of any of his con- 
temporary engineers. His design for the 
Crystal Springs concrete dam was for a 
higher dam than had theretofore been built, 
and while the dam was not at that time car- 
ried so high, his design excited wide-spread 

In his report of 19 17 upon the Spring 
Valley rate cases, Master in Chancery H. M. 
Wright quoted with approval the following 
words of Allen Hazen, an engineer witness: 

"The design of the structures of the com- 
pany is good. I do not think I have ever ex- 
amined an old system of waterworks which 
showed such continuity of purpose as is 
shown by the works of this company. The 
metal was well arranged in the pipes; the 
riveting was good; the thicknesses were 
closely calculated. The reservoirs and dams 
were well built, tight. The tunnel.- arc of 
good workmanship. The distribution system 
is well designed and of good material and 
appears to be remarkably tight. The whole 
system reflects great credit on those who have 
been responsible for its extension through a 
long term of years. The works were laid out 
with a view to future development, and the 
whole system has been planned SO that added 
units could be built and worked into the sys- 
tem as required from time to time. The num- 
ber of structures which have been discarded 
during the years gone by I think is low. That 
has been due partly to the fact that the struc- 
tures have been very durable one-, and in 
part to the fact that the design has been care- 
fully arranged to anticipate growth and to 
serve for a long period." 

And the Master added: "This favorable 
comment is a tribute to the engineering skill 
of Hermann Schussler, and it is refreshing 
to observe that the city's engineer witni - - 
join with Hazen in this generous praise." 

Following the disaster of 1906, Schussler 
was engaged in restoring water service to 
normal conditions. In 190S he resigned his 
position as Chief Engineer, but continued 
private practice until his death, in 19 19. 

During his years with Spring Valley he 
had accepted many outside commissions. He 
triangulated and corrected the alignment of 
the Sutro Tunnel in Nevada. For the Ha- 
waiian Commercial Company he constructed 
on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands a score of 
inverted syphons across the same number of 
valleys. Among his services to the mines of 
California was the construction of the La 
Grange Canal, the first permanent diversion 
from the Tuolumne River. 

Worthy of special mention is the fact that 
in 1872 he built for the Virginia City Water 
Company in Nevada a pipe-line with maxi- 
mum pressure of 1750 feet, a pioneering 
achievement in high-pressure pipe-lines. 

In July, 1905, President Roosevelt offered 
him a place on the Board of Consulting En- 
gineers to consider plans for a Panama 


August, 1929 

Canal, but this appointment he declined "on 
account," to use his own words, "of previous 
engagements and undertakings." 


The outstanding development of Spring 
Valley Water Company at the beginning of 
the present century was centered in that bor- 
der region of Alameda and Santa Clara 
counties where the Calaveras Reservoir now 
spreads its pleasant waters. It had been en- 
visaged as a practicable development of the 
San Francisco water supply — and purchases 
of land to make it feasible had been consum- 
mated — as early as 1875. The increasing 
water demands of our city in the first decade 
after 1900 made it imperative that this 
watershed be brought under control, and 
Fred C. Herrmann was engaged to make the 
necessary engineering explorations. 

Fred C. Herrmann, third in the roll of 
Spring Valley's chief engineers, was born in 
San Jose, California, August 30, 1870. He 
belongs to a family of distinguished en- 
gineers. His father, A. T. Herrmann, and his 
uncle, Carl Herrmann — Herrmann Bros. — 
had been established in San Jose as civil en- 
gineers since the sixties, and had many 
engineering achievements to their credit in 
central California. 

Fred C. Herrmann was graduated in civil 
engineering at the University of California 
in 1894. After working for three years with 
Herrmann Bros., he was engaged by the 
Spreckels Sugar Company to develop water 
supplies for the irrigation of sugar beets in 
the Salinas and Santa Clara valleys and 
about Castroville. 

From this work he went in 1900 to the 
service of the City of San Francisco as assist- 
ant to City Engineer C. E. Grunsky, his chief 
activity being the planning and installation 
of a new sewer system. 

From 1905 to 1907 he was engineer in 
charge of irrigation and drainage investiga- 
tions for the Rocky Mountain states under 
the Department of Agriculture. 

In 1907 he was called to Imperial Valley 
to assist H. T. Cory in the "second closing" 
of the Colorado River. Following this work 
he remained in the Imperial Valley for three 
years as chief engineer under Epes Randolph 
in the reconstruction of the Imperial Valley 
irrigation system. 

In 19 10 Mr. Herrmann was retained by 

Spring Valley Water Company as construc- 
tion engineer on the Calaveras project. He 
supervised the explorations that were made 
at that time, and cooperated with William 
Mulholland of Los Angeles in designing the 

Fred C. Herrmann was appointed chief 
engineer of Spring Valley in 191 1. During 
his regime the construction of Calaveras 
Dam was started with sluicing operations 
and the building of the outlet tunnel. 

A booster plant for the trans-bay pipeline 
was built at Ravenswood, and another for 
the Crystal Springs-San Andres line. 

During this period also the Central pump- 
ing station was built in San Francisco under 
the supervision of George A. Elliott, who was 
then Superintendent of City Distribution. 

Herrmann also made complete studies of 
pipe-bearing capacities for the system, de- 
signed dams for San Antonio and Arroyo 
Valle in the Alameda division, and prepared 
a special report for the Secretary of the In- 
terior on the development of the coast streams 
controlled by the Company. 

By raising the parapet of Crystal Springs 
Dam four feet in 191 1, he saved the City a 
year's supply of water. 

It was during his incumbency that Spring 
Valley prepared for submission to the In- 
terior Department the monumental volume 
entitled "The Future Water Supply of San 
Francisco," one of the most exhaustive re- 
ports of the kind ever compiled. 

He relinquished the position of Spring 
Valley's chief engineer in 19 14, but subse- 
quently rendered the company valuable ser- 
vice as a consultant during the Rate Case of 

Since 19 14 Mr. Herrmann has engaged in 
general practice as a consulting engineer. 
Among the water companies for which he has 
acted are the East Bay, the San Jose, and the 
Benicia. He reconstructed the Modesto Irri- 
gation District, rebuilding the Dallas-War- 
ner dams and installing permanent water- 
ways and structures throughout the system. 

He has been consulting engineer for the 
State of California in its Water Resources 
investigation, and for the State Reclamation 
Board in the preparation of plans for flood 
control in the Sacramento Valley. In the 
same capacity he served the Jefferson County 
(Oregon) Conservancy District on the De- 
schutes River project, the San Joaquin River 

August, 1929 


George A. Elliott 

Water Storage District, and the Kern River 
Water Storage District. He was one of three 
engineers called upon to examine into the 
safety of all Los Angeles City dams, follow- 
ing the failure of the St. Francis Dam. 

And to round out this list of Mr. Herr- 
mann's major activities, he has just com- 
pleted a report on the Orange County flood 
control project, a project that involves the 
construction of eight dams to cost sixteen 
million dollars. 


In 19 14, when George A. Elliott succeeded 
Fred C. Herrmann as Chief Engineer, Spring 
Valley Water Company had 63,016 service 
connections. He has seen the number grow to 
107,146. The average daily consumption in 
19 14 was thirty-eight million gallons — it 
has increased to fifty millions. And he has 
built up the distributing mains from 455 to 
766 miles of pipe. The development of addi- 
tional water supply, together with all the nec- 
essary facilities to store, transmit, and dis- 
tribute it, have been provided well in advance 
of immediate needs. Under him construction 
expenditures have totaled $13,500,000. 

Mr. Elliott has helped to carry Spring 
Valley through difficult years years of liti- 
gation over rates; years when expansion of 
the system, though imperative, was hampered 
by the financial condition of the Company; 
years when rainfall dropped far In-low nor- 
mal, and drastic emergency measun 
adopted in order to make the available water 
"go round.'' And he carried on during the 
conditions brought about by World War. 

It was under his direction that the uni- 
versal metering of San Francisco was carried 
through, a step that widened the margin be- 
tween supply and use sufficiently to allay, 
though not to eliminate, anxiety as to the 
future. The installation of meters for domes- 
tic consumers — commercial accounts were 
metered already — began in 19 16, and was 
completed in 1918, at a cost of $575,000. 
The instant effect was a saving of ten million 
gallons daily and the improvement of pres- 
sure conditions generally throughout the city. 

Mr. Elliott saw the regulation of the Com- 
pany's rates pass from the Board of Super- 
visors of San Francisco to the Railroad Com- 
mission of California, a change with far- 
reaching consequences. 

In 192 1 the Railroad Commission took 
the lead in providing a plan whereby tin- 
water supply could be developed by Spring 
Valley in conjunction with the City's Hetch 
Hetchy project. Spring Valley was directed 
to raise Calaveras Dam and to build other 
structures so as to increase the supply of 
water from the Alameda Division by twenty- 
four million gallons dailv, this water to be 
delivered to Crystal Springs Reservoir 
through the Bay Division of the Hetch 
Hetchy aqueduct under a rental arrange- 
ment. This program involved, besides the 
work at Calaveras, the construction of a new 
and larger conduit from Sunol to Niles, of a 
regulating reservoir at Niles, and of a pipe- 
line from Niles to Irvintiton, where the Bay 
Division of the Hetch Hetchy began. 

In 1923 Mr. Elliott commenced the ex- 
cavation and placing of 800,000 cubic yards 
of rock and earth at Calaveras Dam. At that 
time there were six and a half billion gallons 
of water in the reservoir, though its total 
capacity was eight billions. When the Cala- 
veras work was completed, in 1025, the dam 
had been carried to a height of 220 feet 
above bedrock, giving a reservoir capacity of 
nearlv thirty-three billion gallons. 


August, 1929 

The old Sunol-Niles aqueduct was re- 
placed by a reinforced concrete structure. 
The conduit now consists of concrete-lined 
tunnels and a concrete aqueduct with a ca- 
pacity of seventy million gallons daily. At 
the same time a regulating reservoir was 
built at Niles for the purpose of balancing the 
flow of the aqueduct into the Niles-Irvington 
pipe-line as well as into the existing trans- 
mission lines. This is an excavated reservoir 
lined with concrete and roofed with wood, its 
capacity being five million gallons. Another 
element of this work was the laying of some 
16,000 feet of 44-inch pipe from Niles to the 
junction at Irvington with the City's line. 

Beginning in 1923, the city distributing 
system was greatly improved by extensions to 
newly developed districts and by replacement 
of small with larger mains. 

In the same year a five-million-gallon unit 
of a new city reservoir was constructed on 
Stanford Heights. This reservoir, providing 
storage for the important districts south and 
west of Twin Peaks, and supplementing the 
storage at Clarendon Heights, has since been 
completed to a total capacity of eleven mil- 
lion gallons. By raising the embankment of 
University Mound Reservoir, the storage of 
water for the downtown business and shop- 
ping district was increased from forty-two 
to fifty-nine million gallons. 

Writing in the early part of 1924 about 
Chief Engineer Elliott and these major ac- 
tivities, President Eastman said : 

"The construction work carried on during 
the last two and one-half years has improved 
distributing conditions to a great extent. It 
has not only relieved the individual neces- 
sities of various limited areas which required 
larger pipes or greater pressure, but the type 
of work has been of such a nature that it will 
in many instances be the foundation upon 
which future construction and expansion 
will be based. The increased reservoir ca- 
pacity and storage at higher elevations now 
completed fill not only the necessities of the 
present, but will permit many miles of trib- 
utary pipe to be laid before they will need 
further reinforcing. Similarly much of the 
pipe work consisted of mains of major size, 
which were laid in such locations as to per- 
mit of the extension of the distributing pipe 
system to a large extent without additional 
transmission lines." 

In 1925 Chief Engineer Elliott laid a new 

pipe-line, varying in size from 36 to 16 
inches, from Laguna Honda distributing 
reservoir across Golden Gate Park to the 
Richmond District and down California 
Street to Eranklin. This had the effect of im- 
proving pressure and service conditions in a 
section that consumes forty-five per cent of 
the water used in San Francisco, including 
Western Addition, Richmond, and Sunset. 

In 1925 construction began on an entirely 
new pipe-line from Lake San Andres in San 
Mateo County to Laguna Honda. This im- 
portant addition to transmission facilities is 
a 54-inch line 58,000 feet long, and was 
completed in July of 1928. The result was 
that all pumps supplying Lake Honda, with 
the exception of the City Pump Station, were 
retired from use. At this same time the second 
unit of Stanford Heights Reservoir was 
built, providing a storage of eleven million 
gallons at an elevation of 620 feet. Simul- 
taneously a new feeder main 31,000 feet long 
was laid from Central Pumps to Stanford 
Heights Reservoir, and from Stanford 
Heights to the Presidio Heights district, 
which is the area lying along the ridge from 
Nob Hill west. This retired from service the 
historic Black Point Pumps. The entire pro- 
gram cost more than a million and a half. 

It must be apparent that Mr. Elliott has 
occupied the office of Chief Engineer dur- 
ing a period of intensive engineering activity 
in Spring Valley. While the most important 
projects have been mentioned, there have 
been many others demanding his attention. 
The artesian sources near Pleasanton, in 
Alameda County, have been greatly devel- 
oped. Work has proceeded on the construc- 
tion of the Upper Alameda Tunnel through 
which the run-off of a large drainage area 
will be transported to Calaveras Reservoir. 
In fact, there has been no part of Spring Val- 
ley that has not needed radical changes or 
betterments during Mr. Elliott's time. 

George A. Elliott was born at Wellington, 
New Zealand, on the 21st of October, 1880. 
He studied engineering for two years at 
the University of California, completing his 
course and taking his degree at the Uni- 
versity of Colorado in 1904. After service 
with the General Electric Companv at 
Schenectady, he returned to the Pacific Coast 
and was engaged to install transmission lines 
for both Pacific Gas and Electric and the 
Great Western Power [Concluded on page u} 

August, 1929 


San Francisco Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 

Edward F. O'Day, Editor 

Vol. VIII 

August, 1929 


IT seemed fitting, while recording in San 
Francisco Water the placing of a me- 
morial to Hermann Schussler, that tribute 
should be paid also to the chief engineer who 
preceded, and the two chief engineers who 
have followed him in the direction of San 
Francisco's water supply. Hence the theme 
running through this issue of our magazine, 
and the attempt to estimate the importance 
of a Von Schmidt, a Herrmann, and an El- 
liott, as well as of a Schussler. 

None of these men would dream of monop- 
olizing the credit for the great things accom- 
plished during his regime. Successful engi- 
neering is, to a very marked degree, a matter 
of team work. It depends upon organized ef- 
fort, intelligent cooperation, the fitting into one 
pattern of many delicately contrived pieces. 

To go no farther back than the incum- 
bency of Chief Engineer Elliott, Spring 
Valley offers a conspicuous example of this 
team-work in engineering. Justice, much 
more than generosity, calls for honorable 
mention here of six Spring Valley men who 
have rendered high service to their Company 
and to their Chief Engineer. And so we 
salute John J. Sharon, George W. Pracy, T. 
W. Espy, George J. Davis, A. W. Ebright, 
and I. E. Flaa. 

The Spring Valley services of Mr. Sharon 
began under Hermann Schussler, and are 
distinguished for their versatility as well as 
brilliance. No other executive of the Com- 
pany is so thoroughly informed in all its 
ramifications — engineering, financial, statis- 
tical, and historical. He is the Company's 
Secretarv and Auditor. 

For fifteen years Mr. Pracy has run the 
distributing system of the Company, achiev- 
ing fine results in a position of unusual diffi- 
culty, for Spring Valley's distributing system 
is one of the most complex in America. 

Mr. Espy, Assistant Chief Engineer, has 

been in charge of construction work outside 
of San Francisco during a period of inten- 
sive activity, and has won many encomiums. 

Mr. Davis and Mr. Ebright are charged, 
respectively, with the operation of the Penin- 
sula and Alameda water divisions, and have 
thus played important roles in tin- deliver) 
of water to San Francisco. 

As Office Engineer Mr. Flaa has had en- 
tire charge of design for all structure-, as 
well as of hydrographic practice. 

Sp r i fl g 'Valley £.akes 

Three silvery pendants on a chain of emer- 
ald and gold, 

The lakes along the Skyline Drive, like 
tender buds, unfold. 

Around a curve they leap in view, a tiny 
glimpse of each, 

As if to lure you on and on, but always out 
of reach. 

Through fronds of green they sparkle there, 
and then they disappear 

Until another bend is reached — again the 
vision's clear! 

Another turn — they flit away to mock the 
anxious eye; 

Then comes the open road and there, serene- 
ly calm, they lie! 

Between the rows of smiling hills, in cup- of 
glistening jade, 

Their nectar of Olympus cools within the 
grateful shade. 

And though a barrier holds aloof the thirst) 
from the brink, 

The famished eyes bend down and take a 
splendid quenching drink! 
— Miles Overholt, in S. F. Examiner, July 5, T$2Q. 

(Jour Spring Val/ey Engineers 

[Continued from page n>\ Company. He joined 

Spring Valley in 1909 as superintendent of 
city distribution. Appointed Chief Engineer 
in 19 1 4, he was made Vice-President in 
1925, and General Manager in [928. 

He was supervising engineer for the con- 
struction of Camp Fremont, and of the T. N. 
T. Plant at Giant, California. He is consult- 
ing engineer for the San Jose Water Works, 
and a member of the board of engineers serv- 
ing the state in investigation of water re- 
sources and in preparation of a coordinated 
plan for their conservation and use. 



Engineers and the Science of ffydraulics 

zjf 'Dialogue 


By the Editor 

[The characters are Technicus, a hydraulic en- 
a layman. Technicus is a hand- 
some man. clothed in garments of perfect taste and 
quiet luxury. His face mirrors so ligenoe 

and deep spirituality. The blue button : :' 
is the only thing approaching gaudy ornament in 
his attire. He is smoking expensive cigars, lighting 
one from the other. His words are carefuhy chosen. 
and his talk is enlivened with wit humor, and 
metaphor. In other words, he is a typical eng . 
SUUcus has nothing to distinguish him — he is just 
a layman. This dialogue takes place in the inner 
office of the magnificent suite maintained by 7 ■ - 
nicus. As the day"s professional duties have been 
discharged there is no telephone or other interrup- 
tion to fear.] 

C*ILLICUS: Is it not true that Cain was 
XJ the first engineer? 

Technicus: I doubt whether you have Bib- 
lical warrant for that statement. Are you not 
Trying to be offensive ? 

SUUcus: Not in the least. My veneration 
for engineers is as profound as my respect for 
the truth of history. 

Technicus: Then I am at a loss to under- 
stand how you connect the first murderer 
with our profession. 

SUUcus: Need I refer you to Genesis: 
You are an engineer of all-round culture; so 
you must know your Bible. 

Technicus : Ahem! 

SUUcus: My authority is Genesis iv, 17. 
where we read of Cain: "And he builded a 
city, and called the name of the city, after 
the name of his son. Enoch." Now. if Cain 
built the first city, he must have been the first 
engineer, since the building of a city involves 
a number of engineering problems. 

Technicus: Even if it were so. I doubt 
whether the Society" would go the length of 
honoring Cain. His position in history is 
not an enviable one — not to be compared, for 
instance, with that of his kinsman Tubal 
Cain. who. according to the same account, 
was the father of music. Furthermore. I 
•question whether the first city-planner orig- 
inated the profession of engineering. I think 
it extremely likely that Adam was the first 
of the engineers. 

SUUcus: Adam? The first orchardist. the 

first fanner, if you will — but the first en- 
gineer — 

Technicus: Exactly. Do you not suppose 
that problems of water supply arose as soon 
as the first man and woman went forth to 
earn their bread in the sweat of their br 
Water to drink, water for cooking and wash- 
ing, water to irrigate the first planted field 
and orchard — Adam and Eve faced water 
problems as soon as the gates of Paradise 
closed behind them. I venture to say that 
Adam was anxiously measuring rainfall 
before the first winter was half over 

SUUcus: Your theory is ingenious, a: k 
Then I suppose that you engineers, and par- 
ticularly you hydraulic engineers, revere 
Adam as the founder of your science? 

Technicus: No. indeed; and for the sim- 
ple reason that we insist on fact, not theory. 
Adam may have been all that I have men- 
tioned, but we are not sure. The man we 
honor when we turn to the Old Testament is 

SUUcus: Moses the law-giver? Have not 
the lawyers a superior claim on him? 

Technicus: I am not so sure. Remember 
that the Decalogue says. "Thou shalt not 
steal" ! But let me not gibe at the lawyers. 
just because they have the courage to charge 
more than engineers. It was not Mos— 
law-giver I had in mind; it was Moses the 
water-giver. Let me show you that I too can 
quote Scripture: 

'"There was " 1 the people to drink. 

'"Wherefore the people did chide with Moses. 
and said Give us water that we may drink. 
And Moses said unto them. Why chice 
me? Wherefore do ye tempt the Lord? 
"And the people thirsted there for 
and the people murmured against Moses, and 
said. Wherefore is this that thou hast brought 
us up out of Egypt to kill us and our children 
and our cattle with thir- i ? 

'".And Moses cried unto the Lord saying. 
What shall I do unto this | ? They be 

almost ready to stone me. 

"And the Lord said unto Moses. Go on 

before the people, and take with thee of the 

elders of Israel; and thy rod wherewith thou 

test the 1 a take in thine hand and go. 

""Behold I will stand before thee there upon 

August, 1929 



the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the 
rock, and there shall come water out of it, that 
the people may drink. And Moses did so in the 
sight of the elders of Israel." 

Picture the scene. The desert near Sinai, the 
region we know so well nowadays since we 
have all been reading Charles Doughty's 
Arabia Deserta. Those vast multitudes who 
had left behind them the fleshpots and the 
abundant water supply of Egypt. They mur- 
mured, and what a murmur that must have 
been — like the roar of a hundred Niagaras! 
And that grand leader of theirs strikes the 
rock of Horeb and the water gushes forth. 
There is the man we revere — revere and envy 
— a hydraulic engineer who received the 
direct help of Heaven ! 

Sillicus: From the way you speak I infer 
that you place hydraulic engineering above 
the other branches of the profession. 

Technicus : Well, it is the branch I prac- 
tice; so perhaps I may be forgiven for im- 
partiality. There is another great character of 
the Old Testament that we hydraulic en- 
gineers like to honor. 

Sillicus: Who is that? Noah? 

Technicus: Noah was not a hydraulic en- 
gineer. He was a marine engineer and navi- 
gator. The man I refer to was the prophet 

Sillicus: You puzzle me. I had never con- 
nected the gift of prophecy with your pro- 

Technicus: It is quite true that we are not 
prophets. Neither are we honored as we 
should be — at least until after we are dead. 
It is not as a prophet that we claim Elijah, 
but as a bringer of rain from Heaven. Let 
me carry you to Mount Carmel. The priests 
of Baal are trying to vindicate their false and 
unclean cult. It is a critical moment in the 
history of true religion. The multitudes are 
not murmuring now — the}- are waiting in 
awe-struck silence. The great prophet prays. 
The heavens are opened, and the fire with- 
held from the altar of the priests of Baal 
consumes the sacrifice of Elijah. If you 
know this part of the first book of Kings, you 
remember that there had been a dreadful 
drought upon the land. But after the discom- 
fiture and punishment of the priests of Baal 
note what happened : 

"And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, 
eat and drink ; for there is a sound of abun- 
dance of rain. 
"So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And 

Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he 
cast himself down upon the earth, and put his 
face between his knees, 

"And said to his servant, Go up now, look 
toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, 
and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go 
again seven times. 

"And it came to pass the seventh time, thai 
he said, Behold, there ariseth a little 1 loud out 
of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said. Go 
up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and 
get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. 

"And it came to pass in the meanwhile, that 
the heaven was black with clouds and wind, 
and there was a great rain." 
Sillicus: Was it not Elijah who was 
caught up into Heaven in a chariot of fire? 

Technicus: Exactly. And all good hy- 
draulic engineers hope to meet him there. 

Sillicus: I did not know that there was so 
much piety among you. Usually \ou conceal 
it effectually. 

Technicus : Perhaps we do not cast pearls 
before swine. 
Sillicus: Ahem! 

Technicus : The great engineers have been 
good men. Take the pagan Archimedes. 
When he was slaughtered at the capture of 
Syracuse by a Roman soldier, the conqueror 
Marcellus mourned him as a loss to the 
whole civilized world. 

Sillicus: Archimedes? He was the chap 
who ran about the streets shouting "Eureka," 
wasn't he? What did he shout "Eureka" for? 
Technicus: The word is on the state seal 
of California. I should think that every 
Californian, for that reason alone, would 
familiarize himself with one of the great 
water stories of history. 

Sillicus: Another water story? Let's have 

Technicus: Here it is in the language of 
an ancient Roman writer: 

"Though Archimedes discovered many curi- 
ous matters which evince great intelligence, 
that which I am about to mention is the most 
extraordinary. Hiero, when he obtained the 
regal power in Syracuse, having, on the for- 
tunate turn of his affairs, decreed a votive 
crown of gold to be placed in a certain temple 
to the immortal gods, commanded it to be made 
of great value, and assigned an appropriate 
weight of gold to the manufacturer. He, in due 
time, presented the work to the king, beauti- 
fully wrought, and the weight appeared to cor- 
respond with that of the gold which had been 
assigned for it. But a report having been circu- 
lated, that some of the gold had been ab- 
stracted, and that the deficiency thus caused 
had been supplied by silver, Hiero was in- 
dignant at the fraud, and. unacquainted with 



August, 1929 

the method by which the theft might be de- 
tected, requested Archimedes would undertake 
to give it his attention. Charged with this com- 
misson, he by chance went to a bath, and being 
in the vessel, perceived that, as his body became 
immersed, the water ran out of the vessel. 
Whence, catching at the method to be adopted 
for the solution of the proposition, he immedi- 
ately followed it up, leapt out of the vessel in 
joy, and returning home naked, cried out with 
a loud voice that he had found that of which 
he was in search, for he continued exclaiming, 
in Greek, tvprjKa, (I have found it out). After 
this, he is said to have taken two masses, each 
of a weight equal to that of the crown, one of 
them of gold and the other of silver. Having 
prepared them, he filled a large vase with water 
up to the brim, wherein he placed the mass of 
silver, which caused as much water to run out 
as was equal to the bulk thereof. The mass 
being then taken out, he poured in by measure 
as much water as was required to fill the vase 
once more to the brim. By these means he 
found what quantity of water was equal to a 
certain weight of silver. He then placed the 
mass of gold in the vessel, and, on taking it 
out, found that the water which ran over was 
less, because, the magnitude of the gold mass 
was smaller than that containing the same 
weight of silver. After again filling the vase 
by measure, he put the crown itself in, and 
discovered that more water ran over then than 
with the mass of gold that was equal to it in 
weight ; and thus, from the superfluous quan- 
tity of water carried over the brim by the im- 
mersion of the crown, more than that displaced 
by the mass, he found, by calculation, the 
quantity of silver mixed with the gold, and 
made manifest the fraud of the manufacturer." 
Sillicus: A most interesting story. 
Technicus: And basic in the science of 
hydrostatics. In hydraulics Archimedes gave 
us the water-screw for raising water. I sup- 
pose that invention did more for irrigation 
than any that has followed. If I mistake not, 
it is still used along the Nile. 

Sillicus: I am reminded of what a poet 
says : 

"All the inventions that the world contains, 
Were not by reason first found out, nor brains ; 
But pass for theirs who had the luck to light 
Upon them by mistake or oversight." 

Technicus: A very superficial comment. 
Perhaps Archimedes had what is called luck 
when he spilled the water of the bath; but 
he had a mind of the keenest acuteness, re- 
fined by mathematical exercise, and capable 
of the leap from theory to practical applica- 
tion. Take a look at his extant works in 
mathematics, and you'll begin to respect him 
as he deserves. 

Sillicus: Are the writings of Archimedes 
still in existence? 

Technicus: They are indeed, and the 
Greek text fills a good-sized volume. I do 
not think that they have been translated into 
English in their entirety. It is a task that 
awaits a genius, for the translator must be 
a profound student of Greek and of mathe- 
matics. The work of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert 
Hoover in translating Agricola's De Re Me- 
tallica was much easier of accomplishment 
than would be that of translating Archi- 

Sillicus: From what book did you read 
that "Eureka" story? 

Technicus: From Vitruvius, a Roman of 
the Augustan age, who wrote a treatise on 
architecture. He has a great deal to say about 
water and the science of hydraulics. That 
he had a proper appreciation of water as the 
gift of Heaven you may infer from these 
words : 

"Water is of infinite utility to us, not only 
as affording drink, but for a great number of 
purposes in life ; and it is furnished to us 
gratuitously. Hence the priests of the Egyptian 
worship teach that all things are composed of 
water; and when they cover the vase of water, 
which is borne to the temple with the most 
solemn reverence, kneeling on the earth, with 
their hands raised to heaven, they return 
thanks to divine goodness for its creation." 

Sillicus: Very good, all except his saying 
that water is furnished gratuitously. 

Technicus: We know what he meant. Of 
course, the ancients paid for water, as we do. 
The prophet Jeremiah noted that fact in 
Israel. And from Frontinus, who was super- 
intendent of the Roman water supply under 
Trajan, we know just how water was meas- 
ured. We know, too, from him, of the tricks 
used to get water for nothing, thus cheating 
the government. 

Sillicus: Have you any more good water 
stories ? 

Technicus : Here is another from Vitruvi- 
us — one that is little known. Let me read it: 
"Dinocrates, the architect, relying on the 
powers of his skill and ingenuity, whilst Alex- 
ander was in the midst of his conquests, set out 
from Macedonia to the army, desirous of gain- 
ing the commendation of his sovereign. That 
his introduction to the royal presence might be 
facilitated, he obtained letters from his coun- 
trymen and relations to men of the first rank 
and nobility about the king's person ; by whom 
being kindly received, he besought them to take 
the earliest opportunity of accomplishing his 
wish. They promised fairly, but were slow in 
performing; waiting, as they alleged, for a 
proper occasion. Thinking, however, they de- 

August, 1929 



ferred this without just grounds, he took his 
own course for the object he had in view. He 
was, I should state, a man of tall stature, pleas- 
ing countenance, and altogether of dignified 
appearance. Trusting to the gifts with which 
nature had thus endowed him, he put off his 
ordinary clothing, and having anointed himself 
with oil, crowned his head with a wreath of 
poplar, slung a lion's skin across his left 
shoulder, and carrying a large club in his right 
hand, he sallied forth to the royal tribunal, at 
a period when the king was dispensing justice. 
The novelty of his appearance excited the at- 
tention of the people ; and Alexander soon dis- 
covering, with astonishment, the object of their 
curiosity, ordered the crowd to make way for 
him, and demanded to know who he was. 'A 
Macedonian architect,' replied Dinocrates, 
'who suggests schemes and designs worthy your 
royal renown. I propose to form Mount Athos 
into the statue of a man holding a spacious 
city in his left hand, and in his right a huge 
vase, into which shall be collected all the 
streams of the mountain, which shall thence 
be poured into the sea.' Alexander, delighted 
at the proposition, made immediate inquiry if 
the soil of the neighborhood were of a quality 
capable of yielding sufficient produce for such 
a state. When, however, he found that all its 
supplies must be furnished by sea, he thus ad- 
addressed Dinocrates: 'I admire the grand out- 
line of your scheme, and am well pleased with 
it ; but I am of opinion he would be much to 
blame who planted a colony on such a spot. 
For as an infant is nourished by the milk of 
its mother, depending thereon for its progress 
to maturity, so a city depends on the fertility 
of the country surrounding it for its riches, its 
strength in population, and not less for its de- 
fense against an enemy. Though your plan 
might be carried into execution, yet I think it 
impolitic. I nevertheless request your attend- 
ance on me, that I may otherwise avail myself 
of your ingenuity.' From that time Dinocrates 
was in constant attendance on the king, and 
followed him into Egypt; where Alexander 
having perceived a spot, at the same time 
naturally strong, the center of the commerce of 
the country, a land abounding with corn, and 
having those facilities of transport which the 
Nile afforded, ordered Dinocrates to build a 
city whose name should be Alexandria." 

Sillicus: That's an amazing story. Think 
of an architect in those ancient times propos- 
ing to sculpture a whole mountain ! Truly, 
there must have been great architects in those 

Technicus: And great engineers. Suppose 
Alexander had approved the project and 
Dinocrates had gone ahead. The water part 
of his scheme would have employed all the 
hydraulic engineers he could find. Think of 
gathering together all the streams that flow 
down Athos and pouring their combined 

waters into the sea. The magnitude- of tin- 
thing is astonishing, 

Sillicus: Bui a good engineer would not 
waste all that water. 

Technicus: True, and perhap> Dinocrates 
meant to put it to work before he poured it in 
libation to Father Neptune. We know some- 
thing of the engineering achievements of 
those days, hut there is much that we can 
only surmise. Surely they did great things 
with water power. As you know, the irriga- 
tion systems of Mesopotamia antedate writ- 
ten history. But who originated them we 
shall probably never know. It is too had. 
Another hydraulic genius whose name I 
should like to know was the man who devised 
a watering system for the Hanging Gardens 
of Babylon. 

Sillicus: Perhaps the Babylonian king de- 
pended on rainfall to water his suspended 

Technicus: He couldn't. There is very 
little rain in the region where mighty Baby- 
lon once stood. That country depended on 
the annual overflow of the Euphrates almost 
as much as Egypt depended on the Nile. 
There were great hydraulic engineers at 
Babylon — would that we knew their names! 
They bestowed stupendous labor on the Eu- 
phrates. They built embankments or levees 
to restrain the river, huge reservoirs to im- 
pound its surplus waters, curvilinear chan- 
nels in places where the stream was too 
straight and too rapid, while broad, deep 
canals, or irrigation ditches, traversed all the 
region between the Euphrates and the Tigris. 
The result of these engineering feats was that 
the Babylonian soil was watered to an al- 
most incredible richness. 

Sillicus: And we don't know the engineers 
who did all this? 

Technicus: We know the names of the 
rulers under whom it was done. The king 
took all the credit. It probably never occurred 
to him that his engineer was worthy of com- 
memoration. As you perhaps know, the Eu- 
phrates flowed through the city of Babylon. 
Along the banks, inside the walls, spacious 
quays were built. In order to accomplish this 
construction Queen Semiramis caused the 
Euphrates to be drained off temporarily into 
a huge lake, or reservoir, built further up- 
stream. The historians give Semiramis the 
credit, doubtless because thev could not as- 
certain the names of her engineers. 



August, 1929 

Sillicus: Where did those ancients get 
their skilled labor ? 

Technicus : Of course, there must have 
been highly skilled overseers, but the hard 
work was done by legions of slaves. There 
was no labor problem as long as the slaves 
poured into Babylon when the conquering 
armies came home from war. In this connec- 
tion the historian Grote makes what seems 
to me a very serious misstatement. He says : 
"That which strikes us most, and which must 
have struck the first Grecian visitors much 
more, both in Assyria and Egypt, is the un- 
bounded command of naked human strength 
possessed by these early kings, and the effect 
of mere mass and indefatigable perseverance, 
unaided either by theory or by artifice, in the 
accomplishment of gigantic results." It seems 
to me simply ridiculous to say that those 
great builders had neither theory nor artifice. 
Their works — what remains of them — prove 
conclusively that they had both in a distin- 
guished degree. Grote was a careful histori- 
an, but he should have consulted an engineer 
before he wrote that. And on the same page 
he returns to the matter in these words: 
"Even during the Homeric period of Greece, 
these countries had attained a certain civil- 
ization in mass, without the acquisition of 
any high mental qualities or the development 
of any individual genius." That strikes me 
as being nonsense. It is as much as to say 
that they builded better than they knew, 
which has never been true and never will be. 
When we read in Herodotus and other an- 
cient historians of the great achievements in 
hydraulics (to go no further) that made 
Babylon the wonder of the world, we must 
close our minds to basic ideas if we are con- 
tent to say that there was no individual 
genius, no high mental quality behind these 
achievements. If a writer of today said the 
same thing about the construction of the 
Panama Canal he would be laughed at. The 
trouble is that in peering back at remote 
antiquity we are liable to think of the men 
of those ages as being different from the men 
of today. True, they hadn't all the science 
we have, but they had a remarkable grasp on 
a lot of it. 

Sillicus: That is a generous statement, 
and sounds to me like a reasonable one. 

Technicus : I trust I have at least per- 
suaded vou that ours is an ancient and hon- 

orable profession. There are great names in 
our roll of honor. Did you know that Leo- 
nardo da Vinci was a hydraulic engineer? 

Sillicus: My ignorance is appalling. I 
know of him only as a painter. 

Technicus: His writings show that da 
Vinci had a very clear knowledge of water 
laws. And in his later years he was the en- 
gineer for numerous river and irrigation 
projects in Italy. 

Sillicus: So that he was not only a great 
painter, but a very wise man. 

Technicus : Speaking of wise men, you re- 
mind me that Thales, one of the Seven Wise 
Men of Greece, who lived, perhaps (we can- 
not be sure), about 640-550 B.C., founded 
the earliest Grecian philosophy upon water. 
He taught that water was the single original 
element from which everything came and 
into which everything returned. "The doc- 
trine of one eternal element, remaining al- 
ways the same in its essence, but indefinitely 
variable in its manifestations to sense, was 
thus first introduced to the discussion of the 
Grecian public." So says a great modern ad- 
mirer of Thales. And he adds that Thales 
taught that the earth rested on water. 

Sillicus : I sincerely think that you should 
be a very happy man. You deal with the 
most appealing of God's natural gifts to 
mankind. Your work is with the mountain 
creek singing as it slips along beneath the 
trees, no less than with the mighty river 
carrying steamers upon its bosom. You re- 
spect yet transform the face of Nature, rais- 
ing bulwarks across great gorges to dam and 
conserve. You have a deep understanding of 
storms and winds and the rainfall they con- 
trol. You transmute valleys into lakes. You 
harness the fury of waterfalls. You send 
water on long journeys from remote hills to 
noisy cities. Yours is a benign influence — 
without you cities could not grow, could not 
indeed exist. Yet you are seldom acclaimed 
except by colleagues who can estimate the 
difficulties you have overcome, the ever-new 
phases of the old problems you have solved, 
and the beauty of the structures that you rear 
in the name of utility. As a layman, I hum- 
bly and sincerely salute the Hydraulic En- 

Technicus: You are a man of some dis- 
cernment. Come and dine with me at the 
Engineers Club. 

Spring Valley Water Company 


F. B. Anderson 

Benjamin Bangs W. B. Bourn 

S.P.Eastman Sidney M. Ehrman E. L. Eyre Robert G. Hooker 

Frank B. King 

E. J. McCutchen L. F. Monteagle 

Warren Olney, Jr. 

A. H. Payson Arthur R. Vincent 


Chairman of the Board 

W. B. Bourn ViCE-PRESIDENT G. A. Elliott 


S. P. Eastman SECRETARY John J. Sharon 




E. J. McCutchen TREASURER Benjamin Bangs 


General Manager 
Assistant Auditor 

G. A. Elliott Water Sales 

John J. Sharon 

Manager v. e. Perrv 
D. W. Cooper 

Assistant Manager A. M. Cooley 

Chief Engineer 

G A Elliott Supervisor, Consumers' Accounts W. D. Ryder 

Assistant Chief Engineer 

T W Espy Supervisor, Collections A. \V. Till 

Office Engineer 

I E Flaa Manager, Docks and Shipping H. Templeman 

Superintendent, City 

Assistant Superintendent 

Foreman, Service and Meter 

Superintendent Agricultural 
Department f. W. Roeding 
George W. Pracy 

Assistant Superintendent C. H. Schween 
O. G. Goldman 

Assistant to Superintendent Frank Peters 
Joseph Kappeler 

Foreman, City Distribution 


Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis Manager Real Estate 

Assistant Superintendent 

S. M. Millard DEPARTMENT Theodore J. Wilder 

Superintendent Alameda Sy'stem 

A. W. Ebright PURCHASING AGENT J. H. Le Pla 










January 15th 1930. 

Mr. S. P. Eastman, President 
Spring Valley Water Company, 
425 Mason Street, 
San Francisco, California. 

Dear Mr. Eastman: 

In order that there may be no anxiety on 
the part of the employees of the Spring Valley Water 
Company as to the continuance of their employment - 
upon the transfer of the Spring Valley property to 
the city, I again assure you that, in compliance 
with the mandate of the Charter, all persons now 
employed in the operating service of the Spring 
Valley Water Company, who have been employed for 
not less than one year, will be retained in their 
positions after the transfer of the property of the 
Company to the City and County of Son Francisco. All 
the city authorities who have been actively interested 
in the purchase of the Spring Valley Water Company 
join me in giving you this assurance. I expect the 
employees to be as happy under city employment as they 
have been in the past. I know of their faithful and 
efficient services to your Company in the past and 
please say to them that I trust that, in coming into 
the employ of the City and County of San Francisco, 
they will come with the confidence that their services 
to the city will be as much appreciated as they have 
been by their former employer. The city will depend 
upon them with like confidence for the successful 
operation of the project under city management. 

With warmest regards, 

'AN Francisco Witer 


Spring Valley Water Company 


Volume VIII 

January, 1930 

Number 3 


By S. P. Eastman, President 

IN these closing days of Spring Valley 
Water Company as a public utility 
charged with the administration of San 
Francisco's water supply, it is gratifying to 
feel, and no less than just to express, the 
strength and integrity of the staff that has 
been responsible for the conduct of the busi- 
ness. These men, every one of them in full 
and responsible charge of his department, are 
all young men. They entered the Company's 
service with training that fitted them ad- 
mirably for their work. With long, hard ex- 
perience in the daily troubles and difficulties 
of water supply, they have risen to depart- 
ment management because they proved that 
they were the men best suited for the respon- 
sibilities involved. 

Cities are generally located in convenient 
relation to water supply. Not so San Fran- 
cisco. This city was built at the tip of a long 
peninsula so that it might dominate the 
world's greatest harbor. Water supply was 
wisely subordinated to waterway. The young 
city reared its business structures on made 
ground, and, as it grew, homes climbed more 
hills than Rome can boast. The hilliness of 
San Francisco, the presence of earthquake 
fault lines, and other handicaps complicated 
the engineering problem of bringing water 
from remote sources and intensified the gen- 
eral difficulties of distributing it. 

Stress is placed on the severe conditions 
surrounding San Francisco's water system — - 
conditions much more severe than are en- 
countered in other great American cities — 
because these conditions required, and will 
always require, unusual training, resource- 
fulness, and dependability in the operating 

G. A. Elliott, by education an engineer, 
grew up in the Company's affairs. He had 
charge, in positions of increasing responsi- 
bility, of the several physical departments 
of the Company. He is now the executive in 
charge of all departments, being 'Vice-Presi- 
dent, Manager, and Chief Engineer. These 
responsibilities he handles with distinction. 

George W. Pracy is superintendent of city 
distribution. In this position he has for year- 
managed the most difficult distribution >\ 5- 
tem of any large city in the world. In meeting 
the emergencies of water distribution there is 
frequently no time for the usual consultation 
of maps and office data. Action must be taken 
quickly and with reliable judgment. Herein 
Mr. Pracy has always been highly qualified. 
as he has courage and character. 

All large water supplies must anticipate 
future needs, looking far beyond the horizon 
of today. There are also major construction 
emergencies to be met. Here T. W. Espy, 
assistant chief engineer, in his handling of the 
construction of Calaveras Dam, Sunol aque- 
duct, San Andres tunnel and pipe line, and 
many other large construction works, has 
shown ability and resourcefulness. Together 
with I. E. Flaa, office engineer in charge of 
design, he has been responsible for the com- 
pletion of all structures built out of San 
Francisco during the past twenty years. 

The storage and transmission system, with 
some twenty-five thousand acres of land in 
San Mateo County, together with the impor- 
tant interests of the Company in the Penin- 
sula towns, is conscientiously administered 
by George J. Davis. Mr. Davis, by hearty 
co-operation in civic affairs, has always com- 
manded the respect of [Concluded on page /./] 



W. B. Bourn, Chairman of the Board 


S. P. Eastman-, Preside* 

A. H. Payson, Vice-President and Director 
{Died January 

E. J. McCutchex, Vice-President and Director 

Benjamin Bangs, Treasurer and Director 


January, 1930 

january,i 9 3o SAN FRANCISCO WATER 

L. F. Monteagle, Director 

Warren Olney, Jr., Director 


January, 1930 

G. A. Elliott, Vice-President, General Manager 
and Chief Engineer 

John J. Sharon, Secretary and Auditor 

H. M. Kinsey, Assistant Secretary 

D. W. Cooper, Assistant Auditor 


George W. Pracy, Superintendent, City Distribution O. G. Gold^ias, Assisiant Superintendent City Distr 


January, 1930 

Thomas Mayhew, Chief Clerk, City Distribution 

Roy W. Tullis, Machinist Foreman 


H. A. Hyne, Supervising Stationary Engi 

J. S. Hunter, Chief Clerk, Peninsula System 



W. A. Youxt, Foreman, Peninsula System 

A. W. Ebright, Superintendent, Alameda System 

A. A. Andradf., Foreman, Alameda Division 

W. R. Anderson, Clerk, Alameda System 

January, 1930 SAN FR A N CISCO WAT E R 


V. E. Perry, Manager, Water Sales Department A M. Cooley, Assistant Manager, Water Sola Department 

W. D. Ryder, Supervisor, Consumers' Accounts 

T. E. Hunioox, Assistant Supervisor, Consumer: 



January, 1930 

A. J. Clark, Chief Meter Inspector 

A. W. Till, Supervisor, Collections 

F. S. Hobro, Assistant Supervisor, Collections 

H. Templeman, Manager, Docks and Shipping 

January, I93 o SAN FRANCISCO WA T E R 


F. W. Roeding, Superintendent, Agricultural Department C. H. Schween, Assistant Superintend* nt, 

Agricultural Department 

Frank Peters, Assistant to Superintendent, 
Agricultural Department 

Edward F. O'Dav. Director of Publicity 



January, 1930 

Theodore J. Wilder, Manager, Real Estate Department 

J. H. LePla, Purchasing Agent 


{Continued from page 1] county and town offi- 
cials in his division. 

More than half of the city's present supply 
is developed in the Alameda County division 
of Spring Valley. Through that division will 
flow all of the city's future supply. This sys- 
tem for many years has been operated by A. 
W. Ebright; he has also represented with 
credit the interests of the Company in the 
county and towns of his division. 

Beginning thirty-one years ago as a time- 
keeper, John J. Sharon became secretary to 
the late Hermann Schussler, acting as such 
for seven years. Passing on to the operating 
department, he was assistant superintendent 
of city distribution, then assistant engineer, 
during which time he was in charge among 
other things of raising the Crystal Springs 
Dam. Following this, Mr. Sharon was given 
the responsibility of preparing all material 
for the protracted rate litigation which lasted 
so many years, the construction of the Com- 
pany's building on Mason Street, and va- 

rious other major activities, all of which he 
handled with marked success. He is now 
Secretary and Auditor of the Company. In 
addition to his extensive general knowledge 
of Spring Valley records and history, he is 
one of the best-informed water-works men 
on the Pacific Coast. 

Mr. Sharon's associate, D. W. Cooper, is 
an outstanding member of the auditing pro- 
fession. He is a born analyst of accounting 
problems, thorough and accurate. 

For many years, during normal times and 
construction emergencies, the engineering 
and department superintendents have had a 
thoroughly dependable and loyal ally in J. H. 
Le Pla, the purchasing agent. Mr. Le Pla is 
an excellent buyer, ably co-ordinating his 
work with the program under way, and he 
has always commanded the respect of selling 

Upon the Water Sales Department rests 
the duty of representing the Company in its 
daily contact with the public. To the con- 
sumer the Water Company is the employee 
who takes his order for a service, reads his 

January, 1930 



meter, collects his bill, or adjusts his com- 
plaint. The successful public relations of 
the Company are due in a large measure to 
the employees of this department under the 
direction of V. E. Perry, manager of water 

To F. W. Roeding this Company has been 
deeply indebted for the wise and expert 
handling of its agricultural department. In 
his personal no less than in his business re- 
lations with the Company's agricultural ten- 
ants Mr. Roeding has been invaluable, while 
his deep knowledge and the practical appli- 
cation of that knowledge have commanded 
the respect of all Californian agriculturists. 

The real-estate activities of Spring Valley 
have taken on increasing importance year 
after year. They have been in the capable 
charge of Theodore J. Wilder, who has ap- 
plied to his duties a wide knowledge of real- 
ty, sound judgment, and a conscientious 
understanding of fair dealing. He has been 
tireless in his service to the Company. 

The integrity and ability conspicuously 
seen in the heads of Spring Valley depart- 
ments are found likewise in the many assist- 
ants that make up department personnel. It 
is fully appreciated that as these assistants 
are efficient and loyal, every department head 
is aided in success and the accumulated 
benefits are passed on to the Company. 

To the draughtsmen, clerical forces, spe- 
cial operators, bookkeepers, collectors, out- 
side men — the service and pipe men, gate- 
keepers, reservoir attendants, pumping sta- 
tion crews, the distant watchmen — and other 
associates in the organization that collective- 
ly is the human force of Spring Valley 
Water Company, I desire to pay tribute and 
respect, and to give thanks for their indi- 
vidual records of loyal and useful service 
throughout the years. 

* * # 

Most of the photographs in this number of 
San Francisco Water were made by George 
E. Fanning, official photographer for Spring 
Valley Water Company. 

# # * 

For the information of those who keep Sax 
Francisco Water, it may be mentioned 
that, by error, the preceding issue was num- 
bered Vol. VIII, No. 2, instead of Vol. VIII, 
No. 1. Those who check their files and find 
no Vol. VIII, No. 1, will now understand 
why they miss it — it was never published. 

San Francisco" Water 


Spring Valley Water Company 

San Francisco, California 

425 Mason Street * Phone Prospect 7000 

Edward F. O'Dav, Editor 

Vol. VIII 

January, 1930 

No. 3 

WITH this issue- San Frani [Si Water 
comes to an end by reason of a major 
event in San Francisco history- -the acquisi- 
tion by the municipality of Spring Valley 
Water Company. Born in 1922, the magazine 
expires at the beginning of its ninth year — a 
tender age! — and doubtless there are those 
who will yield it the tribute of a regretful 
sigh. It has had a pleasant career. It has 
striven to be good, but acknowledges many 
failures due to human weakness. If it had its 
life to live over again — as the saying i- it 
would try to do better; but would it succeed? 
Of the friends it has made, it is very proud. 
And it is grateful for many word- of appre- 
ciation generously spoken through the years. 

Turning over its pages for self-examina- 
tion, San Francisco Water finds here and 
there articles and pictures that are of more 
than passing interest. May these be the salt 
to save it from decay! May it survive on the 
bookshelves of those who liked it, and not 
gather too much dust ! 

To all its friends Sax Francis, m Water 
bids a heartv Good-bv. 

Our distinguished Editor. Edward F. < )T)ay. 
achieved a high standard in San Fran, ism 
Water. In friendship and admiration we 
reach for his hand — hoping thereby that we 
may touch the soul of Eddie O'Day, whom 
we all love. 

S. P. Eastman. 




January, 1930 

Spring Valley Water Company 

F. B. Anderson Benjamin Bangs W. B. Bourn 

S. P. Eastman Sidney M. Ehrman E. L. Eyre A. P. Giannini 

Robert G. Hooker Frank B. King E. J. McCutchen 

L. F. Monteagle Warren Olney, Jr. fA. H. Payson 


Chairman of the Board 


S. P. Eastman SECRETARY 


E. J. McCutchen TREASURER 

G. A. Elliott 

John J. Sharon 

H. M. Kinsey 

Benjamin Bangs 


General Manager 

Assistant Auditor 

Chief Engineer 
Assistant Chief Engineer 
Office Engineer 

Superintendent, City 

Assistant Superintendent 

Foreman, Service and Meter 

Foreman, City Distribution 

G. A. Elliott 

John J. Sharon 

D. W. Cooper 

G. A. Elliott 

T. W. Espy 

I. E. Flaa 

George W. Pracy 

O. G. Goldman 

Joseph Kappeler 

J. J. Miley 

Superintendent Peninsula System g. J. Davis 
Assistant Superintendent S. M. Millard 

Superintendent Alameda System a. W. Ebright 

Water Sales 
Department : 


Assistant Manager 
Supervisor, Consumers' Accounts 
Supervisor, Collections 
Manager, Docks and Shipping 

Superintendent Agricultural 

Assistant Superintendent 

Assistant to Superintendent 

Director of Publicity 

Manager Real Estate 

Purchasing Agent 

V. E. Perry 
A. M. Cooley 
W. D. Ryder 

A. W. Till 
H. Templeman 

F. W. Roeding 

C. H. Schween 

Frank Peters 

Edward F. O'Day 

Theodore J. Wilder 
J. H. Le Pla 


Mayor Thos. H. Selby, 1871